Campus Advisory Update 4 - Arrest Made Related to Threatening Social Media Posts

Dear campus community,

I am writing to inform you that local law enforcement has charged a person in connection with the recent online threats made against individuals and our campus for fall 2023. The accused is not associated with Acadia University.  

The Kings District RCMP has released a statement today, June 27, 2023, with additional information.  

You can find the statement at the following link:

The RCMP statement says the following:

Kings District RCMP charge man in relation to an investigation of threats at Acadia University.

On June 6, 2023, Kings District RCMP received a report of a threat of a possible shooting at Acadia University. The threat was received in an email by Acadia University Safety and Security. RCMP officers learned that the threat was being circulated on a social media platform and indicated that a shooting would occur at Acadia University in the fall of 2023.

As the investigation unfolded, RCMP officers received numerous tips from the public and information related to the threats. Through the use of judicial authorizations, RCMP officers identified a suspect.

On June 23, Kings District RCMP, with assistance from RCMP Digital Forensic Services, executed a search warrant at a home on Minas Crescent in relation to the investigation. During the search, RCMP officers located and seized electronic devices, including a hard drive, computers, a 3D printer, and a cellular phone. No firearms were located.

Later that same day, Colby Watts, 20, of New Minas, turned himself in at the New Minas RCMP Detachment. Watts has been charged with Personation with Intent and was released on conditions by a Justice of the Peace. Watts will appear in Kentville Provincial Court on August 23, 2023, at 9:30 a.m.

Kings District RCMP would like to thank the public for their assistance and for calling in tips that helped advance the investigation.

The investigation remains ongoing.

File #: 2023-789894

The Safety and Security Department values our ongoing partnership with the RCMP in maintaining the safety of our community. We also extend our gratitude to those who provided information that aided the investigation and continue to support our ongoing monitoring and safety measures on campus.

Despite this matter now moving into the legal system, we recognize that threats of this nature are a disturbing subject. If you feel anxious or overwhelmed, students might consider consulting with the Counselling Centre at (902) 585-1246 or Acadia also has a list of online mental health tools that may be helpful.

Acadia employees can access support through Acadia’s Employee and Family Assistance Program and are encouraged to speak with their supervisors about concerns.

I encourage you to update your awareness of our Emergency Procedures and Alert system, by visiting Emergencies and Alerts on the Safety and Security website.

If you see suspicious activity or a concerning social media post or feel unsafe, please call Acadia’s Safety and Security 24-hour phone line at (902) 585-1103 or email

Additionally, anyone with information related to the threatening posts is asked to contact Kings District RCMP at 902-679-5555. To remain anonymous, call Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submit a secure web tip at, or use the P3 Tips App.

It is always a good practice not to engage with individuals (in-person or online) who could pose a threat. In the event of an emergency, dial 911.

Thank you for all you are doing to help our campus community.

Patrick Difford

Director, Safety and Security

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