A former UCLA lecturer was slapped with federal charges for emailing students and faculty a threatening video and an unhinged “manifesto” that temporarily shut down the college’s campus this week.
Matthew Harris, 31, allegedly sent out a rambling 803-page manifesto to members of the philosophy department that mentioned the words “kill,” “bomb” and “shoot” 12,000 times.
He was arrested in Boulder, Colorado on Tuesday and appeared in US District Court in Denver on Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“Burn and attack Boulder outside by the university,” the manifesto said, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit cited by the Times.
”Hunt them where they work … Kill their children at freshman orientation. Shoot them at the opening weekend, Bombs at middle schools, no threats, Shot gun columbine university slaying, Kill the board of trustees at every university.”
Harris had been a postdoctoral fellow in philosophy at UCLA before he was booted from the program last year amid increasingly bizarre behavior that unnerved colleagues and led to a restraining order from the University of California, reports said.
On Monday, the ex-lecturer sent an email received by about 35 people, linking the so-called manifesto as well as videos — including one titled “UCLA PHILOSOPHY (MASS SHOOTING),” the Associated Press reported. The video spliced footage from a mass shooting in Las Vegas and scenes from a 2003 movie depicting a mass shooting called “Zero Day.”
The UCLA campus was shut Tuesday in the aftermath. Harris, who was found to have moved to Boulder last year, was arrested later that day at his apartment complex after he barricaded himself inside for a time, Boulder police said in a news release.
Harris had been put on leave as a fellow from UCLA in March after he sent some disturbing and inappropriate emails to women in his research group, according to the AP. The next month, he visited his mother in North Carolina but she feared for her life and slept with a knife near her bed, the complaint against him said.
He was committed to a psychiatric hospital but later released. In May, UCLA got a protection order against him for threats he had made to a professor at UC Irvine, the affidavit said. After moving to Colorado in 2021, he tried to buy a gun but was rejected, Boulder police said.
Harris is facing charges of transmission of threats in interstate commerce and is being held without bail pending a hearing on Tuesday.
With Post wires