Fortuna Man Arrested After Threatening Church Group, Referencing Mass Killings


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An 18-year-old Fortuna man was arrested this morning after allegedly making criminal threats against a church group that planned to visit Humboldt State University, with the threats making reference to a pair of mass shootings.

University Police Chief Donn Peterson told the Journal that Sean Allman made the threats via text messages to church members, with some of the messages referencing mass shootings at a New Zealand mosque and Columbine High School.

“The congregants communicated through their network, their church, and a person there reached out to authorities here in Humboldt County that included UPD and Fortuna PD,” Peterson said, adding that local police learned of the threats yesterday afternoon.

Peterson said it’s still unclear why Allman allegedly directed these threats at this particular church group. According to a UPD press release, Allman lives in Fortuna with his family and is not an HSU student.

While Allman is currently in custody, UPD is asking the campus community to remain vigilant in the event he is released. UPD is distributing a flier asking anyone who sees Allman on campus to contact UPD immediately.

Asked if Allman had the means to carry out an attack or to follow through on his threats, Peterson said it’s not immediately clear, though he said it is incumbent upon UPD to take all threats seriously.

“If you’re going to make threats toward campus, idle or otherwise, and you’re going to invoke the memories of other mass killings to do it, we’re going to take those things very, very seriously,” he said.

See the full press release from UPD below.

MEDIA ADVISORY Campus Safety Bulletin: Suspicious Individual

The University Police Department is advising the Humboldt State University community to be on the alert for an individual alleged to have sent threats to campus visitors.

Sean Allman (pdf of police flier), 18, who is not an HSU student and resides with family in Fortuna, has made specific threats of violence to a group scheduled to visit campus.

Allman was arrested early in the morning of June 15. Criminal charges are being evaluated, and possible threat to the campus only exists if he is released. UPD advises to remain vigilant.  

Allman’s threats referred to the New Zealand Mosque shooting, as well as the shooting at Columbine High School.

Allman is described as 5’ 8”, 135 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes.

If you see or encounter Allman on campus, please contact University Police immediately by dialing 911, calling (707) 826-5555 or extension 5555 from any campus phone.

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