Police: Man threatened to shoot USC Upstate students - FOX Carolina 21

Police: Man threatened to shoot USC Upstate students

Posted: Updated:
Jamal Davenport (Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office) Jamal Davenport (Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office)

A Greenville man accused of threatening to bring guns to an Upstate college campus and shoot students is now behind bars after showing his face at a popular Greenville festival, according to university police.

Jamal Davenport, 20, is being held at the Spartanburg County Detention Center where he was charged with second-degree harassment.

University of South Carolina Upstate Police said the charges stem from a relationship he attempted to forge with a female USC Upstate student online. Officers said he met the female student on the online dating site plentyoffish.com.

Police said the two met up in real life, but after she decided she didn't want a more personal relationship with him, he wouldn't stop contacting her. Eventually he sent text messages threatening to shoot her and her male friends on campus where she lived, police said.

On Sunday, Davenport was spotted at Fall for Greenville by a USC Upstate student who had seen the campus alert and recognized Davenport, police said. That person notified police and the suspect was arrested.

USC Upstate police Chief Klay Peterson said this story should serve as a important reminder to other students.

"People need to be very careful about meeting unknown persons online," said Peterson. "They need to make sure if they are going initiate contact they need to do their homework, and at least have the company of friends or family with them so they can be in a safe place if they choose to do so."

He also said Sunday he's pleased with the effectiveness of their emergency alert system and how the situation ended.

Campus officials said the email and text message alerts went out to students over the weekend that advised them of the situation, included photos of Davenport and warned that he was considered armed and dangerous, and should not be approached.

Davenport is new to the Greenville area. USC Upstate campus police said he moved here from Providence, RI, where he had been tied to gang activity.

A judge gave Davenport a $467 surety bond and house arrest.

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