Washington College Closes for Two Weeks After Gun Incident

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Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, announced Wednesday it will close through at least Thanksgiving week because of a potential threat from a student.

The college closed Monday for the week after the student’s parents notified the school their son, identified as Jacob Marberger, had returned home and retrieved a firearm. Marberger’s parents said they had not been able to reach him, and didn’t know his whereabouts, the college said.

Authorities said Marberger felt victimized after an on-campus prank, and while drinking, he showed a separate unloaded firearm to fellow students, CNN affiliate WJLA reported.

“He was not pointing it at anybody, he wasn’t threatening anybody with it — it sounds like he was brandishing it, bragging about it,” Washington College President Sheila Bair said in a press conference. The weapon was subsequently seized by police.

During this time, Marberger was kicked out of his fraternity and resigned from the Student Government Association, WJLA reported.

The school said on Monday that Marbeger is considered a missing student. “He is a white male, 5’4″, 130 lbs, with brown curly hair. He was last seen driving a 1997 dark green Range Rover with Pennsylvania tag beginning with ‘JWY,'” the college said.

After classes were canceled Monday, students got a message Tuesday morning from the administration saying it had decided to cancel classes because of “new information received from law enforcement.” At this point, the college said, police put out a warrant for Marberger’s arrest related to gun charges.

The college said it would be closed until “further notice,” creating a challenge for the school’s 1,450 undergraduate students, particularly those who participate in on-campus housing and meal plans. By the end of Tuesday, almost all students had made alternative arrangements, which in some cases included staying with faculty, staff and residents of Chestertown.

“We want to thank the community for the outreach of support and offers of housing for students who are unable to return home,” the college said.

On Wednesday, Bair announced the college would close through Thanksgiving week.

“Based on our continuing consultations with law enforcement, we anticipate that classes will resume on Monday, November 30.”

As of Wednesday, the FBI and Maryland State Police had joined the search for Marberger.

“[We are] hopeful for his safe location, bearing in mind he hasn’t made any threats,” Chestertown Police Chief Adrian Baker said.

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