Delaware County Community College officials are offering a $5,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of an e-mailer who wrote to professors, "i'm goin to kill everyone at this damn school."
The school, closed since the threats were received Thursday, reopens today - with a new set of rules.
Students will not be allowed to carry backpacks or purses on campus and may be subjected to random metal-detector searches, Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll said at a news conference yesterday.
The e-mails - which came just 10 days after the shootings at Virginia Tech - were signed "J. Feathers."
Carroll considers the threats acts of "domestic terrorism" and said he intends to seek the maximum prison sentence - 40 years - when "Feathers" is arrested.
Carroll said the risk factor at the school is now "about the same as any college." Police officers will be posted at all five campuses in Delaware and Chester counties for heightened security.
Authorities believe the writer intended to disrupt school operations without actual loss of life.
"Feathers" threatened to get two weapons and kill everyone at the Exton and Downingtown campuses on Monday or Tuesday, according to a copy of one of the e-mails provided by West Whiteland Police Chief Ralph Burton.
The e-mail advised recipients to "take my notice seriously, cause i'm giving 1 chance of survival."
Carroll said investigators realized the messages could be a "sick prank," but in light of the massacre at Virginia Tech it was "impossible to ignore the possibility that a deranged killer would make good on his word."
The e-mails came from a Hotmail account created with fictitious information less than an hour before they were sent, Carroll said.
The messages originated from the public wi-fi system that supplies service for libraries and schools in Delaware County.
College President Jerome S. Parker said authorities encouraged the school to put up a cash reward and he was "glad to do it."
Carroll offered to bargain down the jail sentence he's seeking if a suspect comes forward.
He said authorities have "quite a few investigative leads."
Parker said the school had two study days built into the schedule that have been converted to class days, allowing classes, finals and graduation to occur on time. *