University ‘surprised’ by threats

Colorado Mesa University was “surprised” by the arrest of a student who allegedly threatened a massacre at a Front Range high school and the assassination of President Barack Obama, a school spokesperson said Wednesday.

Sophomore Mitchell Kusick, 20, of Westminster, enrolled in the fall of 2011 and, while expressing interest in the nursing program, was not enrolled in the program despite claims Kusick apparently made on his Facebook page, according to CMU spokeswoman Dana Nunn.

Nunn said Kusick most recently was an online student, but federal privacy laws prohibited her from releasing information on when he may have been in student housing.

Kusick, who remains in good academic standing, had qualified for an academic scholarship that requires a high school grade point average of at least 3.75 and an ACT score of 29, or higher, Nunn said.

Kusick told authorities he had trained on shooting an assault rifle at a firing range in Grand Junction while attending CMU, while telling a therapist Oct. 29 he has had homicidal fantasies on a daily basis for the past five to six years, according to a federal arrest warrant affidavit.

Kusick was admitted on a mental-health hold at Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge, where allegedly reiterated a desire to assassinate the president while targeting schoolchildren on Halloween at Standley Lake High School.

He’s being held without bond pending a detention hearing Friday in U.S. District Court in Denver.

Kusick was arrested in connection with the case Nov. 9, his first arrest in Colorado, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records.


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