Local News

Exam-week prank prompts evacuation of Campbell dorm

Posted May 2, 2008

— A Campbell University student was charged following what school officials said appeared to be an exam-week prank that forced students out of their dorm for nearly three hours early Friday.

Emergency crews evacuated Kitchin Hall, a dorm that houses 96 men, at about 4:30 a.m. following a report of a chemical odor inside, Harnett County sheriff's deputies said.

No one was injured, but sheriff's investigators said several people complained of trouble breathing. None of them required medical attention.

Investigators said an explosive device made of a plastic bottle and chemicals that react when combined caused the fumes. One was placed in the dorm's first-floor hallway and three others outside, authorities said.

"I opened up the door, and it was all foggy and cloudy and smelled awful – I mean, just terrible," dorm resident George Sharrer said.

Thomas Nathan Minor, 19, of Fuquay-Varina, was charged with possession of weapons on school ground. Authorities said they were investigating and further charges were possible.

Dr. John Roberson, Campbell's vice president of marketing, said the university's code of conduct prohibits students from possessing and using explosives on campus.

"(School officials), they will, I'm sure, hear this, and our code would include expulsion, if that's what they choose to impose," Roberson said.


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  • LibertarianTechie May 2, 2008

    InJohnstonCo, I don't care what awards he has won, the fact is that here and now, he set off an "explosive device" at 430am. But the good thing here is that at least the "explosive device" didn't explode during exams causing students and faculty to get hurt, or worst killed. So I guess he didn't know as much chemistry as he thought he did!!

  • InJohnstonCo May 2, 2008

    In reading the comments of all the judgmental hypocrites who log in here, I had no idea that I lived amongst the most perfect people around. Air Biscuit - your guess is worthless. This young man is a good person who made a poor decision. He didn't get away with murder in high school because he was too busy studying and playing sports. Although he is a great football player, his grades and attitude got him into Campbell. For anyone who wants to see what a "spoiled rotten know--it-all" he is, please check out the archives for Tom Suiter's Extra Effort Award and see who received it November 23, 2006.


    Is it too much for people to wait for the facts before they judge people? Everyone is quick to convict a person. I wonder how many of you will be willing to post apologies once you know the facts.

  • LibertarianTechie May 2, 2008

    Its bad enough he did this so early in the morning--but during exams? That should be double punishment. Kick him out!

  • CombatMed May 2, 2008

    He probably isn't a bad kid. But for whatever reason he decided to do this, he should have known better. Campbell has a very strict honor code that prohibits these sorts of things. I know, I go there.

  • SailbadTheSinner May 2, 2008


    I’m not sure I agree.

    I think the ‘older’ generation has much more time, much more education, significantly more resources and, if they were so inclined, could be much more dangerous.

    Fortunately, most seem to have actually learned from their experiences and make pretty good citizens ....


  • iamforjustice May 2, 2008

    I have come to a conclusion that people who take Viagra don't have time for pranks or crimes.

  • SailbadTheSinner May 2, 2008

    Some of the things we did in undergraduate days under the name of “pranks” would no doubt be called “criminal” today.

    No one was hurt (well, usually) and most folks got a good laugh out of it.

    For example, ever line a dumpster with plastic laundry bags and fill it up with water? Amazing what happens when they try to empty it ....

    The point is that I think at times we take ourselves a bit too seriously.

    But the real question: Will the heavy-handed attitude stop this sort of behavior? Probably no. But it will train the kids to be a LOT more careful not to get caught ....

    And that’s good training for the real world and part of the value of a college education ....


  • ahh-fooie.... May 2, 2008

    I've seen grown men do the same thing....just not in such bad setting! School cafeteria this was rather dumb.It was probaly very intriging and exciting til they heard the sound!

  • mrkagain May 2, 2008

    "He is not a fruit loop or a spoiled brat. I can promise you that. He is a very responsible and smart kid that made a bad choice."

    I still say he had better hire a good attorney, and quick.

  • twixandbetwwen May 2, 2008

    Society today has become so "touhy feely" that harmless tricks are considered acts of agression, and this is wrong because children and young adults and it is time that older adults realised this. The older adults were young once and I wonder what they did to have fun. I know it wasn't sitting at home on Saturday reading bible verses. Some of these so called adults that are supervising schools like Campbell fear for their jobs more than anything.