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Campus Crime

Carnegie Mellon Student Under FBI Investigation for Message Fantasizing Sniper Killings

“I want to make an impact. Make life meaningful even under the eye of death itself,” the message allegedly read.



A Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) student is under FBI investigation and faces charges after a message he sent using a university platform was flagged as a potential terroristic threat.

Action News 4 in Pittsburgh identified the student as Derek Li and reported:

The email stated, “Sometimes I wish I could go onto a roof with a sniper rifle. Imagine all those little people walking the streets, going here in and about their everyday business. So simple and so easily offed to be fair.”

It goes on to talk about the people that would be killed.

The email states, “The little baby in the stroller with his mother and father just makes up another family. Nothing memorable about them, nothing special.”

The email also states, “I want to make an impact. Make life meaningful even under the eye of death itself.”

It ends with this quote, “That’s what a sniper rifle is for, a tool so quiet so efficient and so capable of changing the tide. All it needs is me to guide it.”

CMU interim president Farnam Jahanian sent a message to students, faculty and staff that outlined the measures the school was taking to investigate the seriousness of the threat. It closed by saying:

Throughout the nation, we are grappling with an unconscionable level of mass violence. As a university and as individuals, it falls to each of us to remain vigilant. We appreciate the seriousness with which all of you take that responsibility. And we once again urge any member of our community who perceives a specific threat to report their concerns immediately. The stakes are too high to rest on anything less.

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