Explosives Safely Removed From UCF Dorm

3 years 5 months 2 weeks ago March 18, 2013 Mar 18, 2013 Monday, March 18 2013 Monday, March 18, 2013 11:03:33 AM CDT in News
By: Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Explosive devices found in a dorm at the University of Central Florida have been safely removed from the building and classes have resumed.

University spokesman Grant Heston says normal operations resumed at the campus around noon after the makeshift devices were taken away, but the dorm was still closed.

The explosives were found by authorities investigating the apparent suicide of a UCF student shortly after midnight. Hundreds of students were evacuated from the dorm.

Heston says police were called after a fire alarm went off. While they were on their way to the scene, a 911 call came in about a man with a gun.

Arriving officers found a man dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a residence at the Tower 1 dorm.

Authorities investigating the apparent suicide of a college student discovered weapons and explosive devices in a dorm on the University of Central Florida campus in Orlando early Monday, and hundreds of students were evacuated, though the school said there was no immediate threat.

University police were called to the dorm around 12:20 a.m. after a fire alarm went off, UCF spokesman Grant Heston said. While they were on their way to the scene, a 911 call came in about a man with a gun.

Arriving officers found a man dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a residence at the Tower 1 dorm. Heston said the man was a student at the university.

Heston said the dorm has suites, with a main kitchen and living area, along with four bedrooms. The dead man was inside one of the rooms. Inside the room, Heston said, police also found what they described as an assault weapon, a handgun and incendiary devices. Florida law prohibits the possession of guns on state university campuses.

"Obviously you never want somebody to commit suicide, but knowing what we know about what was in his room, we feel better at least that no one else was hurt," Heston said.

He said the Orange County Sheriff's Office and the FBI are helping with the investigation. The sheriff's bomb squad was examining the explosive devices Monday morning. Heston said they would remove the devices from the building once it's safe to do so -- which they hoped to be around noon.

About 500 students were evacuated from the dorm, and Heston said it would remain closed until authorities give an all-clear on the building.

Morning classes were canceled Monday but were to resume at noon, Heston said. Flashing signs around the campus alerted students and staff about the canceled classes. Campus shuttle buses were lined up about a half-mile from campus, with drivers standing by once the campus opens.

The university's main campus in Orlando has about 51,000 students.

Antonio Whitehead, 21, a junior from Hollywood, Fla., said he heard the fire alarm go off after midnight and thought it was a routine alarm. He headed outside where he saw a crowd already heading across the street from 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," he said.

Whitehead, who has lived in the dorm for two years, said the students were moved to an open area about 1,000 feet from UCF Arena. The area is a busy section of the campus, with restaurants and shops nearby.

Grant Hernandez, 20, a sophomore from Orlando who also is a resident at the dorm, said he woke up sometime after midnight when police were evacuating the building.

"We weren't allowed to get our cars. We weren't allowed to get our personal effects," Hernandez said.

"All we saw were people running, and they were not telling us what was going on," he added.

"We were left unsure of things. It wasn't till about 6 o'clock that we got more information and a clearer picture of what was going on." He said officers on the scene began providing more information, and students checked updates on the university's website.

A statement there said the UCF Arena would open to accommodate displaced students.

Counselors would be available to talk to students who need assistance.

The Tower 1 dorm is part of the school's popular Towers at Knight Plaza apartment building complex, according to UCF's website. Tower 1 has seven floors. The typical apartment layout has four bedroom and two bathrooms, the website says. Heston said the student who died had three roommates.

More News

Grid
List
BOONE COUNTY - A head-on car crash on Route F near Clark sent one injured person to the hospital in... More >>
2 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 10:32:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia's Planning and Zoning Commission held a meeting Wednesday to address citizen concerns about a new ordinance. ... More >>
4 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 8:34:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - An eight-year-old boy was hit by a car Wednesday after running out into the street in front... More >>
4 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 8:30:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department hosted the first Neighborhood Park Fun Days Wednesday night at Again Street... More >>
5 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 7:15:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - J'den Cox had a tearful welcome home celebration Wednesday in the Column Club above Faurot Field. The three-time... More >>
5 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 6:39:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Six beagles were euthanized after a study conducted by the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. ... More >>
6 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 5:56:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri announced the suspension of sophomore gymnast Morgan Porter Tuesday, after she was arrested by... More >>
6 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 5:40:00 PM CDT in Sports
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill has confirmed that she'll run for re-election in 2018. The Springfield News-Leader... More >>
7 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 5:16:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, R-Columbia, stopped by to talk with students at the Missouri School of Journalism Wednesday afternoon.... More >>
7 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 4:43:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has awarded a $12 million, five-year contract to the University of Missouri's... More >>
9 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 3:17:58 PM CDT in News
FULTON – A Fulton brick factory announced Tuesday it will be closing temporarily due to a downturn in the local... More >>
9 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 2:47:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia announced the formation of the city's first Mayor's Task Force on Medical Tourism on... More >>
10 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 2:32:00 PM CDT in News
CLAYTON (AP) — Relatives of a 25-year-old St. Louis County Justice Center inmate who hanged himself are questioning why he... More >>
10 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 2:30:49 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., visited the Missouri National Guard headquarters Wednesday to talk with members of the... More >>
10 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 2:20:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An online reporter whose stories have been critical of Missouri's death penalty procedures alleges in a... More >>
10 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 2:19:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis voters who claim to be the victims of absentee voting irregularities are raising questions... More >>
12 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 12:13:51 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Police have seized several items, including five computers, from the home of a Missouri State University professor... More >>
12 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 12:10:06 PM CDT in News
FULTON — The Fulton Police Department has arrested one man in connection to the threats made towards Fulton Middle School... More >>
12 hours ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 11:53:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 67°
1am 67°
2am 65°
3am 64°
4am 63°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
1:07a
The Insider
12:30a
The King of Queens
1:00a
The King of Queens
1:30a
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Running Wild with Bear Grylls
8:00p
American Ninja Warrior
7:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
8:00p
Beauty and the Beast
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld