UCLA canceled in-person classes after a former lecturer threatened to commit a mass shooting. According to the Los Angeles Times, Matthew Harris, a former lecturer and postdoctoral fellow at the university’s philosophy department, sent a threatening video and shared an 800-page manifesto that made specific threats against faculty members.
Officials said that Harris was taken into custody and is “under observation and not in California.”
The video contained footage from the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas and clips from Zero Day, a 2003 film inspired by the Columbine High School massacre. The manifesto was titled “DEATH Sentences” and was “dedicated to domestic terrorism and violence.”
“In light of this, we will continue to have discussion through Zoom until the authorities say that it is safe,” a philosophy professor told their students in an email obtained by the Times. “I will keep you updated on this situation. But I would avoid being anywhere near Dodd Hall or the philosophy department until further notice.”
Harris’ YouTube page had over 300 videos, many of which appeared to be uploaded on Monday (January 31). His account has since been terminated.
Harris had previously been placed on leave by the university after he was accused of sending pornographic material to a student. His postdoctoral status expired in June 2021, though it does not appear that it was related to the investigation, according to the Daily Bruin.