Who Is Connor Stottlemyre? Another Student In Missouri Has Been Arrested For Allegedly Making Threats On Yik Yak
Authorities have arrested a second person for allegedly making threats against black students via the social media app Yik Yak. Connor B. Stottlemyre, 19, was apprehended by university police at his dormitory at Northwest Missouri State University Wednesday morning. The state university in Maryville is more than 200 miles away from the University of Missouri in Columbia, where race protests have taken over campus, but the incident is a haunting echo of brewing tensions that have captured the country's attention.
According to university spokesman Mark Hornickel, a threatening message on Yik Yak was reported that said, "I'm gonna shoot any black people tomorrow, so be ready." Stottlemyre is being held at Nodaway County Jail on suspicion of making a terrorist threat, but the student was not charged as of late Wednesday, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. University officials do not know yet if the threatening message was directly connected to ongoing campus protests at Mizzou, Hornickel said.
Stottlemyre attempted to join the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity at Northwest Missouri State, Heavy reports, and a spokesperson for the fraternity stated that any affiliation with Stottlemyre was "terminated by the chapter in early October." The spokesperson also said Stottlemyre's alleged behavior is not congruent with the organization's standards or principles.
The message allegedly posted by Stottlemyre was frighteningly similar to a series of threatening messages that were posted over the course of Tuesday night. Screenshots of Yik Yak discussions shared on Twitter, which were later taken down, displayed a number of serious threats: "Don't go to campus tomorrow," and "We're waiting for you at the parking lots. We will kill you." Hours before Stottlemyre's arrest, University of Missouri police arrested 19-year-old Hunter M. Park for allegedly making terrorist threats through the app. Park is a student in the University of Missouri system, but doesn't attend classes on the Columbia campus where protests have primarily been taking place.
Though messages are published anonymously, Yik Yak reserves the right to provide law enforcement with information shared on the app that could help in investigations of criminal activity. Yik Yak responded to the incidents by posting a statement on its website Wednesday, which read: "There's a point where discussion can go too far — and the threats that were posted on Yik Yak last night were both upsetting and completely unacceptable."
The arrests come after weeks of protest at Mizzou concerning the lack of a response by university administration to handle racist attacks against its own students. The demonstrations culminated in the resignation of two high-level university administrators: University of Missouri system President Tim Wolfe and University Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.
Image: Courtesy of Nodaway County Jail