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Missouri State University sends campus-wide email regarding man arrested for making threats to employees

Students walking on the Missouri State University campus on a fall day.
Jesse Scheve
Missouri State University
Fall on campus. Taken on November 5, 2021. Jesse Scheve/Missouri State University

Campus Safety detailed the conditions of release for 50-year-old Aaron Brown.

A man who made terroristic threats to both Missouri State University employees and an employee of The Kitchen, Inc. in Springfield remains in the Greene County Jail. But MSU safety officials are ensuring those on campus that measures are in place to monitor 50-year-old Aaron Keith Brown if he’s released.

Brown was taken into custody by the Springfield Police Department in mid-December.

According to probable cause statements by SPD, Brown, a former student at Missouri State, had made threatening phone calls to an employee of The Kitchen, Inc. starting last July. That prompted the victim’s employer to implement procedures to keep that person and other employees safe.

Brown had also threatened employees at MSU – sending harassing emails and making vague threats towards the university starting last February. The threats eventually led to a court order mandating that Brown receive a mental health evaluation. After his release from the mental health facility, the statement said that Brown’s level of harassment increased. He was expelled from MSU in September.

In November, the threats by Brown led to the MSU Dean of Students Office shutting down for a day out of fear for the safety of its employees.

In a campus-wide email Monday, the head of University Safety at Missouri State David Hall said there are conditions the court has imposed for Brown’s release.

  • Brown is prohibited from:
    • Having contact with any of the involved individuals.
    • Being within 1,000 feet of any involved individual, their residence or place of employment/education.
    • Being on the campus of Missouri State University.
    • Possessing a firearm, ammunition or other deadly weapon or having such weapons in the residence or vehicle.
    • Possessing or using alcohol or any state or federally-controlled substance without a physician’s prescription.
  • He must wear a GPS location monitoring device.
  • The provider of the GPS location monitoring device must immediately call 9-1-1 to report any:
    • Device tampering.
    • Traveling into an exclusionary zone and requesting a well-being check.

In an interview with Ozarks Public Radio, Hall said this situation is “the most serious one that I’ve dealt with since I’ve been here at, you know, Missouri State University.”
But he is glad that MSU employees shared their concerns and that the processes in place at MSU to de-escalate a potential path of violence worked.

“What we’re always looking at is how can we reduce the risk to campus?” Hall said.

He encourages members of the MSU community to report any concerning behaviors. For emergencies, call 911 and then Campus Safety at 417-836-5509. Report threatening behavior to Campus Safety.

For incidents that are not urgent, a Behavioral Intervention Team referral can be made. The team meets weekly, he said. It evaluates cases and determines “how can we provide resources to individuals and hopefully be able to make improvements in their situation?”

He also encourages those on campus to review the university’s Emergency Action Plans, watch safety training videos that are available through Campus Safety, sign up for in-person emergency preparedness training, ensure their Missouri State Alert contact information is accurate and follow the Safety First blog for updates.

Those signed up for the Missouri State Alert system are notified via text, phone and email of any threats and specific actions they should take, Hall said.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.