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UCLA cancels all in-person classes after email 'threats' to philosophy department, person in custody

LOS ANGELES — A man suspected of sending a threatening email and post that prompted UCLA to cancel all in-person classes Tuesday was in custody in Colorado, according to the school. 

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“I am greatly relieved to share that law enforcement officers in Colorado have taken into custody the individual who made threats against some members of our UCLA community yesterday,” Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

“While we will continue with our plans to keep instruction remote today, with this development, we will return to in-person instruction tomorrow.”

A tweet from UCLA late Monday said the “UCLA Police Department is aware of a concerning email and posting sent to some members of the UCLA community today and actively engaged with out-of-state law enforcement and federal agencies.”

“UCPD is actively working with out-of-state & federal agencies on threats sent to some members of our community,” a subsequent tweet said. “Out of an abundance of caution, all classes will be held remotely Feb 1. We will keep you updated.”

The Los Angeles Police Department told NBC Los Angeles on Tuesday that it previously had contact with the man suspected of posting the threats.

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LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the department’s Mental Evaluation Unit had contacted the man in the Spring of 2021. The nature of the contact was not immediately released.

Students at of the University of California, Los Angeles campus on, Nov. 17, 2021.Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images file

The FBI confirmed to NBC News on Tuesday that it was working with UCLA authorities “to assess the situation.”

UCLA’s executive communications officer Steve Ritea told NBC News that out-of-state law enforcement had confirmed “the person who made the threats to UCLA is under observation” and not in California. “Classes will remain remote today,” he added.

The Los Angeles Times reported that an email was sent to students and faculty informing them that a former university lecturer and postdoctoral fellow had sent a video talking about a mass shooting and an 800-page manifesto with “specific threats” toward the department.

The Times obtained part of the email allegedly sent by the lecturer, which included links to the manifesto and video. NBC News has not seen or independently verified the contents of the emails.

The Daily Bruin and the Los Angeles Times identified the lecturer, but NBC News has not independently confirmed their identity. The person named did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on Tuesday.

Elisha Fieldstadt reported from New York, Andrew Blankstein reported from Los Angeles

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