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Former Quinnipiac University student arrested in connection to bomb threats at commencement


Danielle Shea/Hamden Police

By Jon Alba and Elijah Westbrook

Police in Hamden have arrested a woman in connection to multiple security threats at Quinnipiac University’s third and final commencement ceremony on Sunday.

According to police reports, former Quinnipiac student Danielle Shea called Quinnipiac Public Safety and warned them of a bomb in the Arnold Benhard Library at 5:45 p.m. Seventeen minutes later, Shea once again called warning of “multiple” bombs in the area. It was at that point university officials made the decision to move the third and final graduation ceremony to the TD Bank Sports Center.

Shea, 22, was spotted outside of the TD Bank Sports Center in full cap and gown and was taken into custody by police. In a detailed confession, Shea revealed her mother had paid for thousands of dollars in school expenses for this academic year, but she did not actually attend the school. She then panicked after her relatives did not see her name on the graduation roster, and phoned in the bomb threats in an attempt to get the ceremony canceled. No explosives were found.

The original ceremony had been planned for a 6 p.m. start time, but was pushed back to around 7:30 p.m. at the arena instead. The commencement went off as scheduled from thereon out, with students from the College of Arts and Sciences getting their degrees.

Hamden Police Chief Thomas told Q30 News moving the graduation to another site was “the right decision.”

Quinnipiac officials could not be reached for comment at the time of this story, though Quinnpiac Vice President of Public Affairs John Morgan told the New Haven Register moving the graduation was done, “to make sure the safety of those involved was paramount.”

It was estimated 5,000 people were in attendance for the final ceremony.

Shea was charged with Threatening in the 1st degree and falsely reporting an incident. She was detained on $20,000 bond and will appear in court in Meriden on May 30.

This story has been updated from its original form.

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