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WSSU police investigate social media threat, suspect charged  

Winston-Salem State University. (July 2019 photo)

The Winston-Salem State University Police Department has charged a Vance County man after receiving reports of a social media threat that was posted against the university.

Thomas Bell, 19, was arrested on Monday, Oct. 7, by the Henderson Police Department and charged with making a false report concerning mass violence on educational property. Bell is not a current or former WSSU student. His bond was set at $25,000. His court date is Oct. 17 in Forsyth County.

On Monday, Oct. 7, multiple students reported the social media threat to police through phone calls and postings through LiveSafe, a mobile app that allows students, faculty and staff to confidentially share tips and safety concerns with police. 

Patricia Norris, chief of police for WSSU, commended WSSU police for tracking down the suspect so quickly.

“The safety of our students, faculty and staff is always our No. 1 priority,” Norris said. “Thank you to everyone who reached out to us with these crucial tips that helped us identify the suspect.”

Thomas Bell

WSSU police sent a RamALERT notification to the university community at 1:53 p.m. on Monday to make the university community aware that police were investigating the reports. A second "all-clear" notification was sent at 2:53 p.m. The university remained under normal operations. 

If you have any information related to this investigation, please contact WSSU Police at 336-750-2900. Download the WSSU LiveSafe mobile app for free for real-time, two-way communication with WSSU Police.

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