Moment ‘highly erratic’ ex-UCLA philosophy lecturer, 31, is arrested by SWAT teams in Colorado for threatening to commit mass shooting: Cops found ‘alarmingly violent’ 800 page manifesto and suspect tried to buy a gun in November but was denied

  • Matthew Harris, 31, sent an expletive-ridden email to the UCLA Philosophy department on Monday 
  • He also uploaded 300 videos on  YouTube about shootings and integration before YouTube took them down
  • The email contained an 800-page manifesto where he also discussed attacking CU in Boulder, Colorado 
  • Police there arrested him on Tuesday near campus; a shelter-in-place order had been issued
  • Cops say Harris had tried last year to buy a gun from a store in Colorado but was turned away 
  • He was put on leave from UCLA, where he was a lecturer, last year amid complaints from students 
  • Police in Colorado say they are still going through his manifesto but that it was ‘alarming’ in its violence 
  • UCLA classes will return to in-person on Wednesday and the shelter-in-place order in Colorado was lifted 





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A former UCLA lecturer who threatened to carry out a mass shooting at the school was arrested in Colorado on Tuesday morning where he had also made threats against a different campus in an ‘alarmingly’ violent 800-page manifesto. 

Matthew Harris, 31, was taken into custody near the University of Colorado Boulder campus on Tuesday by SWAT teams. 

On Sunday, he posted 300 unhinged and threatening videos on YouTube, and then he sent emails to UCLA staff threatening a mass shooting. He included details of the manifesto, which also had references to Boulder in it. 

UCLA banned in-person classes and told the authorities about the Boulder references. Harris had worked at UCLA until last year but was put on leave after complaints from students that he had sent some of them pornography. 

On Tuesday, after learning of the threat, Boulder Police Department issued a shelter-in-place warning near the college. It also evacuated an elementary school nearby. 

At around noon local time, Harris was arrested off-campus but nearby. Video showed him being led away in handcuffs by SWAT teams. 

Boulder Police Chief Maris Harold said at a press conference afterwards that detectives were still working through the manifesto but that it was ‘alarming’ in its violence.  

‘This is 800 pages we’re going through. The level of violence we saw in the manifesto was so alarming.’ 

She added that he’d tried to buy a gun in November last year but thankfully, was not sold one. 

Matthew Harris, 31, was arrested near the University of Colorado Boulder’s campus on Tuesday morning

Matthew Harris sent the expletive-ridden email to UCLA’s philosophy department, warning its recipients ‘da war is comin’, and linked to videos depicting previous mass shootings including Columbine and Las Vegas , and an 800-page manifesto

On Tuesday afternoon, UCLA school announced he had been arrested in Colorado. 

UCLA, in a tweet on Tuesday morning, said they were working with ‘out of state’ law enforcement but it’s unclear if they even know where he is

‘I am greatly relieved to share that law enforcement officers in Colorado have taken into custody the individual who made threats against some members of our UCLA community yesterday.

‘While we will continue with our plans to keep instruction remote today, with this development, we will return to in-person instruction tomorrow,’ Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael J. Beck said.

Harris was let go from his job last year after a student reported that he had sent them pornography. 

On Monday, staff described  him as ‘highly erratic’ in internal emails. 

Chief Maris Herold said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon that his manifesto was ‘alarmingly’ violent.  

One of the hundreds of videos posted online by the former postdoctoral researcher was titled ‘UCLA Philosophy (Mass Shooting)’. His manifesto made references to race and used several curse words and misogynistic slurs.

In response, UCLA cancelled all in-person classes early on Tuesday morning, while students who have been taught by Harris spoke of how they had previous concerns over his conduct.

Matthew Harris – a former UCLA lecturer – has threatened one of the California university’s departments with a mass shooting in a disturbing email sent to faculty and students

The former lecturer was placed on leave in the spring last year while he was investigated over allegations he sent a pornographic video to a student, according to the Daily Bruin.

Unrelated to UCLA’s investigation into him, Harris’ postdoctoral status was set to expire at the end of June 2021 after he first joined the university in 2019.

‘The material includes a video entitled ‘UCLA Philosophy Mass Shooting’ and an 800-page manifesto with specific threats towards some members of our department,’ the email said, according to The LA Times.

‘In light of this, we will continue to have discussion through Zoom until the authorities say that it is safe. 

‘I will keep you updated on this situation. But I would avoid being anywhere near Dodd Hall or the philosophy department until further notice.’

The University put out a statement on Twitter, saying: ‘UCLA Police Department is aware of a concerning email and posting sent to some members of the UCLA community today and actively engaged with out-of-state law enforcement and federal agencies.

‘We will keep the community informed as we learn more.’

In an update two hours later, it added: ‘UCPD is actively working with out-of-state & federal agencies on threats sent to some members of our community. 

‘We do not have specific information that this individual is in CA. 

‘Out of an abundance of caution, all classes will be held remotely Feb 1. We will keep you updated.’

In his manifesto seen by the, Harris – often in all capital letters and with frequent spelling mistakes – makes frequent references to race including repeated use of the N-word, uses overtly sexual and misogynistic language and writes a number of violent proclamations such as ‘death to my enemies.’

Harris uploaded 300 videos to YouTube before his account was taken down. It’s unclear if he deleted it or if YouTube did 

In his email to the philosophy department seen by The LA Times, he included a link to his YouTube channel featuring hundreds of disturbing videos, most of which were uploaded on Monday. 

In the video titled ‘UCLA Philosophy (Mass Shooting)’, footage from the 2017 mass-shooting in Las Vegas and from the movie ‘Zero Day’ – loosely based on the Columbine Columbine High School massacre – was shown.

Matthew Harris sent the expletive-ridden email to UCLA’s philosophy department, warning its recipients ‘da war is comin’, and linked to videos depicting previous mass shootings including Columbine and Las Vegas , and an 800-page manifesto

The channel appears to have since been taken down, but screenshots shared on Twitter showed a number of ‘ASMR’ (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) videos, with anti-feminist or racially-charged titles.

Speaking to ABC News, student Nathan Robbins said: ‘I’ve been scared about this professor, this guy, for about a year since my girlfriend told me about the stories – how he treated their class, but also the threats he made after he got put on leave.’

Other students had previously written about Harris on teacher-review websites, such as

‘This professor is extremely unprofessional and has sent his personal p*rnographic content to a student,’ one student wrote in March 2021, linking to Harris’ YouTube channel. ‘Please fire this professor, his actions are not acceptable by any standards,’ the student added.

Writing in October 2020, another said: ‘Easily my least favorite class at ucla ever. He is very dry and could not care less about the class.’

The author of the anonymous review went on to say that in once case, Harris had changed the grade of another student 43 times after the quarter had finished.

They also wrote that the lecturer would repeatedly change the syllabus, and that he ‘started messaging people in the middle of the summer saying that he spilled Chinese food on their final and that they need to resubmit it.’

According to, Harris taught a number of philosophy classes during his tenure, including PHILOS 161: Topics in Aesthetic Theory and Topics in Aesthetic Theory: Personal Identity in Music, as well as PHILOS 168: Philosophy of Race.

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