Washington County VA

UPDATE: Name released of Emory & Henry student who made death threat

EMORY,Va. - UPDATE: News 5 just has learned the name of the Emory & Henry student who posted a threatening message on a social networking app.

Charles Wygal is charged with using a computer to harass or threaten another person. That is a class one misdemeanor and carries a $2,500 and up to 12 months in jail. Wygal is free tonight on a $1,000 bond.


UPDATE: News 5 was there as a student turned himself into police.

The student, whose name has not been released, is accused of posting threats against students at Emory & Henry College on a social media app.

Vice President for student life Pamela Gourley tells us after learning about the tip, she sent out an email to all students, faculty and staff asking if they knew who was responsible. Gourley tells News 5, the college will do the best it can to prevent this from happening again.

Police are working with the Commonwealth's attorney to determine if charges will be filed in the case. We'll have the latest on the investigation tonight on News 5 beginning at 5pm.


Information as of 8am:

News 5 is tracking down information about a possible death threat at Emory and Henry College. We have received a copy of an email that was sent to students at the college late last night.

The email came from from Pamela Gourley, the Vice President for Student Life at the college.

In the email, Gourley says the school had received a report of a threat against students that was posted on a social media app called Yik Yak.

The email instructed students to contact campus police if they were concerned about their safety and asked students to come forward if they know who posted the threat.

News 5 reached out to Gourley this morning and she did not have a comment.

The full copy of the e-mail from Pamela Gourley, Vice President for Student Life, is posted below.

Dear Students,

Yik Yak is a social media application that can be used for communicating with those around you.  Unfortunately, we have received a report that a threat was posted on Yik Yak today that reads, "Freshman killing spree.  Tomorrow at the cafe at 12.  All upperclassmen come prepared." We take threats like this seriously and will investigate.  The College can pursue all avenues open to us to hold those who threaten the safety of our campus responsible to the fullest extent of the law.  If you know who sent this post, please contact Campus Safety at 276.356.7783 or me at 276.944.6122 and report it.  Please note that Yik Yak will work with law enforcement in cases involving threats to safety.  In several cases, their assistance has led to the arrest of users.  The Yik Yak team has developed a protocol on how to handle these situations and we are seeking their assistance.  

As a safety precaution, we are making all of our community members aware that this has been posted.  If you are concerned about your safety, please contact my office in Wiley 121.  I am also asking faculty to discuss this threat briefly in classes tomorrow in the context of our responsibility to each other as members of this learning community.

In addition, some in our community have reported concerns about the messages coming across Yik Yak that are sexual, offensive, and derogatory.  We are better than this and need to hold each other accountable.  We are a community built on trust and respect, whether you are communicating in person or anonymously through social media.  Please act responsibly.


Dean Gourley

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