UC Berkeley student charged with criminal threats for alleged emails to staff

A University of Berkeley student was charged this week by Alameda County's district attorney with making threats to staff through emails. Those threats led to a campus-wide shelter-in-place last Thursday. 

According to court documents, the defendant, Lamar Bursey, 39, of Hayward, threatened to shoot at least two people on campus. Bursey is being held by UC Berkeley Police. The campus scare last week lasted several hours. Students and staff were told to go inside and move away from doors and windows at 9:30 a.m. All buildings were closed and in-person classes canceled for the day. Neighboring Berkeley Unified Schools went on a "soft lockdown" out of an abundance of caution. 

Once Bursey was detained at Summit Medical Center in Oakland, he underwent a psychiatric evaluation. He has since been placed on academic suspension, court documents show. 

Part of the email he sent to UC Berkeley staff members read: "I'll be in the office from aprox 9am to 4pm today. Stop playing with me. Depending on who I feel was helping or not, 2 people on this email will get shot. Consider this a promisarry [sic] note you [expletive] you." 

Burton faces felony charges of making criminal threats. If convicted, he could face time in state prison.