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Social Media Threats Lead To MCLA Campus Lockdown, Arrest

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The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams briefly locked down early Sunday morning after a student allegedly made threats of violence.

18-year-old Joseph Caso is facing felony charges in Northern Berkshire Superior Court after he allegedly threatened to shoot up MCLA on social media. MCLA Chief of Police Dan Colonno explained what happened around 1 a.m. Sunday morning once a call came in from a campus dormitory.

“Officers responded, and we were trying to find a specific individual that was named," Colonno told WAMC. "When we could not find that individual, a RAVE alert, that's our emergency notification system, was sent out for everyone to shelter in place. That goes out to the entire campus community. Once that was done, we did a safety sweep of the building to make sure people were sheltering in place and looking for the individual that we were interested in.”

Caso was interviewed and arrested after police located him. The shelter in place order was lifted around 1:25 a.m. The college has given Caso an interim suspension and a temporary ban from the MCLA campus.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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