HOUSTON – A Houston man who was charged with making a terroristic threat after authorities said he vowed to "shoot everyone and kill everyone" at Houston Community College Central Campus on May 7 appeared in court Friday.
Luis Antonio Rivera, 21, is charged with a the third-degree felony following an investigation by HCC police.
Police said Rivera used the name Elijah Eli Saltibanez, and posted the following on Facebook:
“I will attack and shoot everyone and kill everyone in hcc Central campus in May 7 2018 I will kill everyone including students and teachers are gonna die and also I will kill the hcc police department.”
Police said Rivera posted additional threats against President Donald Trump and students in local school districts.
“We take threats to public safety seriously,” First Assistant Harris County District Attorney Tom Berg said. “If the elements are met, you will be charged and prosecuted.”
During his court appearance, Rivera's lawyer argued he may not have understood the severity of his actions.
Rivera faces two to 10 years in prison if convicted.
He posted a $20,000 bond and is due in court on Monday.
Houston Community College Central Campus was closed as a precaution Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after the threat was made toward the college on social media over the weekend.
"We're assured those facilities are safe and ready to go and we put together a plan that limits the egress so we can monitor what comes and goes," said Greg Cunningham, HCC’s police chief.
School officials said additional security was at each of its campuses during the investigation.
Final exams were rescheduled to Thursday and Friday.
"All course finals that were scheduled at the Central Campus for Monday, May 7 have been rescheduled for Friday, May 11," HCC District tweeted.
The closure of Houston Community College's Central Campus caught some students off guard.
“It was closed yesterday due to the shooting threat but I thought it would be open today,” said Rodney Willis, an HCC student.
The rescheduling of finals affected about 6,000 students.
“It's just crazy,” said Jake Russell, an HCC student. “I just can't believe the magnitude of events going on. Not just this, but (various events) recently.”
Because of the recent climate of school shootings and the serious nature of this threat, HCC took strong measures.
“This one was ... we had to react more significantly to it than others in the past,” Cunningham said.
On Tuesday, a heightened police presence was already visible around campus and a sweep had been made of all of the campus facilities.
Rodney Willis is set to graduate Sunday. He was frustrated he could not pick up his cap and gown at the bookstore.
The person who made the threat is "messing up for people like us, trying to move on with life and you know it's not right,” Willis said.
Willis is glad Saturday's commencement will go forward as planned.
“I'm very excited,” he said. “I did my part. Two long years, but I finally made it through, I did it.”
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