The University of Central Florida student found dead of an apparent suicide was believed to have been planning an attack on the UCF campus.
UCF spokesman Grant Heston said the fact that an assault weapon and improvised explosive devices were found in the dorm room where the 30-year-old student committed suicide indicated that he may have planned an attack on the Orlando school, according to the Associated Press.
Four IEDs were found in a backpack inside the student’s dorm, UCF Police Chief Richard Beary told the AP.
The campus was shuttered early Monday morning and was closed until 12 p.m. following the incident. The Tower 1 dorms were still evacuated as of late Monday afternoon, according to an alert on the UCF website. Students affected by the evacuation were told to go to the Veterans Academic Resource center near the UCF Arena.
Campus police received a fire alarm shortly after midnight Monday and simultaneously received a call about a man with a gun at the dorm, the school said.
The 30-year-old student reportedly pointed the gun at another student, who then called police, the AP reported.
When police arrived on the scene, they found the 30-year-old dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to UCF.
“University police responded immediately when we received a fire alarm call and a subsequent 911 call,” Beary said in a statement. “The safety of our students in Tower 1 and our entire campus community is our top priority.”
UCF junior Antonio Whitehead, 21, was in the Tower 1 residence hall when the fire alarm went off. At first, he thought the alarm was routine, but then he saw a crowd approaching the dorm.
"All of a sudden, I felt the crowd move a little faster. And a police officer with a machine gun or something told everyone to start moving a lot faster," Whitehead told the AP.
UCF student Ryan Elkin said the situation on campus was “scary.
“Obviously, it's in the news and stuff with all the school shootings but there's not much you can do about it. Obviously they took precautions and emptied out the whole building," he told 13 News.
Howard Koplowitz reports on crime and breaking news events for International Business Times. Howard formerly worked on IBT's continuous news desk, where he covered trending...