Earlier this week, Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland was closed due to a possible threat from a student with a firearm. Now, as more details emerge, the school has taken the unusual step of closing until after Thanksgiving.
The situation apparently began last month, when Jacob Marberger allegedly brandished a gun in early October. The details of are a little bit murky. CBS Baltimore reports he did so while hazing a new member of his fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, while WBAL11 states it was in reaction to being “persecuted and ridiculed.” Either way, the consequences for Marberger were steep. He was kicked out of his fraternity, forced to resign from his speaker position with the Student Government Association, and faced possible suspension from school.
On Sunday evening, Marberger returned to his parents’ house; however, “He left abruptly and the parents were concerned that he may have possibly left with a weapon,” according to Chestertown Police Chief Adrian Baker. This concern led to the lockdown at Washington College on Monday, and as that Marberger has yet to be found, the school has made the decision to close until Monday, November 30th. Washington College President Sheila C. Bair gave the following statement:
Following the difficult events of the past few days, Washington College will be canceling classes this week and the week of Thanksgiving break. Based on our continuing consultations with law enforcement, we anticipate that classes will resume on Monday, Nov. 30. The college campus will reopen on Sunday, Nov. 29. Students should plan on returning to campus on that day.
While classes are canceled until Nov. 30, students should be alert to email communications from their professors with instructions pertaining to continued progress in their courses.
All residential students have either returned home or been taken in by members of the campus and Chestertown community. We are deeply grateful to the faculty, staff and residents of Chestertown for opening their homes and their hearts to dozens of our students.
We will continue to update the Washington College community with information as it becomes available.
According to reports, Jacob’s parents believe that he took a shotgun from their home when he left, and he last seen Tuesday at a Walmart in Berks County, Pennsylvania, where surveillance video showed him buying a box of 12-gauge shotgun shells.
Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Marberger on gun charges. He is 5’4”, 130lbs with light skin and brown curly hair. He was last seen driving a 1997 dark green Range Rover with Pennsylvania tag beginning with “JWY.” Anyone with information about Marberger is asked to please contact the Chestertown Police at 410-778-1800 or Washington College Public Safety at 410-778-7810.
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