Student charged after several buildings on W&M campus evacuated, bomb threat found not credible

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Posted at 12:08 PM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 11:31:21-05

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Several buildings on the campus of William & Mary were evacuated due to a bomb threat on Wednesday afternoon.

Campus officials said as a precaution the Sadler Center, McLeod Tyler Wellness Center, Cohen Career Center and Aromas Daily Grind were evacuated and the first safety alert went out around 11 a.m.

Campus authorities and police investigated the threat at the Sadler Center construction site and said the threat was posted on social media.

Bomb sniffing dogs swept the area and around 1 p.m., a university official said the buildings had been reopened but that it may take some time for all staff to return.

She also said a person of interest is being interviewed.

According to campus police, a student, Barrett Smith, has been charged with one felony count for threatening to bomb a building. He is part of the Class of 2023.

Officials originally said there was no imminent threat to campus but asked people to avoid the area.

They said a siren that may have been heard around 11:15 a.m., is not related and was just a test of the Surry siren.

A student told News 3 when we got to the scene that said he didn't know what was happening but added that classes were still happening.

News 3 reached out to the university for comment.

William & Mary Police Chief Deb Cheesebro released the following statement regarding the incident this morning on campus:

This afternoon Barrett P. Smith, of Colonial Heights, VA. was charged with one felony count for violation of VA statute 18.2-83 (threatening to bomb or damage a building). Smith is enrolled at William & Mary and is a member of the Class of 2023.

A threat of this kind is a serious matter. Thankfully the one received this morning turned out to be unfounded and no one was injured. We are appreciative of both the quick response from our partners at Virginia State Police and Newport News Police and the cooperation of our campus community with the necessary evacuations.