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Towson University student arrested for posting violent threats on social media

Posted at 3:28 PM, Nov 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-22 23:18:56-05

TOWSON, Md. — A Towson University student was arrested off-campus on Wednesday following an investigation on acts of violence that were posted on social media.

The student has been identified as Eric D. Barker and, according to Towson University's twitter account, the threat was brought to Towson University Police Department by some concerned members of their community.

His twitter account shows a post on Sunday night stating "murder lookin real good right about now." About 24 hours later, his twitter showed a post stating "i want to commit roughly 50 counts of assault and murder right now."

"It was pretty scary at first to hear threats were being made to the school and to the community but I felt safe knowing that Towson police stepped in and handled it," said Ruthie Douglass, TU student. Her friend and fellow student Jackie Kistler added. "That’s definitely crazy to think because you hear about things like that all the time but not in your community but I definitely feel secure that they took care of it so quickly."

According to the charging documents, TU teachers reported the tweets to TUPD on Tuesday morning since they caused "alarm and concern" for students, faculty and staff. One person stated the tweets caused her "to be alarmed and very concerned." Another person stated "she was concerned for her safety." Another said they became "very disturbed" when they became aware of the tweets.

"I think it’s really good that we have a great student body community where we can speak up because most people wouldn’t say anything about it so I really proud Towson for that," said Bria Vainqueur, a TU student.

After TUPD talked with teachers, they questioned Barker.

Barker told police he was angry at the time and was just venting about school frustrations. According to the charging documents, police also found video on Barker's phone related to the Sandy Hook shooting as well as video related to the new Joker movie. That's when Barker was arrested.

"You never know what people are planning in their own head," said Chelsea Patten, TU student. That's why some students said they would like to see more mental health services offered on campus.

"I'd like to see the counseling center host more events and bring awareness to students that they’re there for support," said Angela Lucha.

Everyone TU student WMAR-2 News spoke with on Friday said they hope all threats/red flags are taken as seriously as this one was.

"People when they pass by a message or something that they think could mean something but they just brush over it should act on what their initial thought was," said Caleb Wosson. Towson University ensured all threats of violence will be taken seriously.

Barker is no longer allowed on Towson University's campus. He did bond out of jail and is scheduled for a trial on December 30 at 8:30 a.m.