Former L&C student, 32-year-old Mintai A. Bedford was arrested Aug. 31, in connection with allegedly making a terrorist threat against Lewis and Clark Community College. Making a terrorist threat is a Class X felony.
According to a press release from Capt. T. Mike Dixon of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 7:36 a.m. an anonymous person called the Alton Police Department and said “someone is going to shoot up Lewis and Clark Community College.”
After notifying Campus Safety, the Sheriff’s Office worked alongside Campus Safety to ensure all campuses were safe. Classes were able to proceed uninterrupted and faculty, staff, and students were notified of the ongoing situation in an LC alert email and informed the college would remain open with a visibly increased law enforcement presence.
“I think L&C did well addressing the threat because I personally received a phone call in addition to two emails notifying me of the situation, and although the professors didn’t seem to know much about it, they all were prepared for the worst,” L&C student Abu Khan said.
As of Sept. 20, Director of Campus Safety and Security, Brad Raish was unavailable to comment any further on the situation. The Lewis and Clark Enrollment Center was able to confirm that Bedford was a former student, but due to legality, that was the only information they were allowed to disclose.
According to Madison County Court records, Bedford was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 14, but that was re-scheduled for Sept. 21, and as a result, no plea had been entered at the time. Bedford has been arrested previously for 14 criminal misdemeanors as well as seven criminal felony offenses.
An article from the Alton Telegraph detailed a 2009 police chase involving Bedford and five other suspects shooting at each other from two separate SUVs. The incident apparently ended in two separate crashes in Granite City, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri.
According to Capt. Dixon, Bedford was transferred into the custody of U.S. Marshalls due to a federal parole violation relating to his arrest in this case
L&C issued a statement later thanking “the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and all levels of law enforcement for their colleagueship with L&C Campus Safety in all aspects of this investigation.”
“We have systems in place to keep our campus safe, and it is encouraging to see these systems work to resolution,” the statement said.