Virginia Man Arrested After Threatening to Murder Howard University Students

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A Virginia man faces up to five years in prison after police say he threatened to murder students at Washington, D.C.’s historically Black Howard University.

John Edgar Rust was arrested Wednesday, Oct. 4, on charges related to threats he made on two online message boards on Nov. 11, 2015, local station Fox 5 DC reported. Court documents show the 26-year-old used in-store Wi-Fi at a Panera Bread restaurant to post the threats, in which he repeatedly used racial slurs and “promised” to kill Black people at the university.

“Sure, the po-po will take me down, but I’ll go out a hero knowing I made the world a better place,” Rust allegedly wrote in part. “After all, it’s not murder if they’re Black.”

Investigators said Rust was a convicted sex offender at the time of the postings and was upset over racial tensions at the University of Missouri. FBI agents were tipped off shortly after he made the threats after his roommate mentioned them on Reddit.

“Just consider yourselves warned,” the roommate said, according to a court document.

If convicted, Rust will be sentenced by a federal judge and could spend five years in prison. He is set to appear in court for his arraignment on Thursday, Oct. 5, a DOJ press release stated.

Howard University tweeted Wednesday it was aware of Rust’s arrest and that it was relieved he was in federal custody.

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