News / USA

Florida Student Commits Suicide After Making Attack Plans

University of Central Florida police Chief Richard Beary, right, shows an example of the assault rifle, along with explosive devices, found in the dorm room of James Oliver Seevakumaran, Monday, Mar. 18, 2013, in Orlando, Fla.University of Central Florida police Chief Richard Beary, right, shows an example of the assault rifle, along with explosive devices, found in the dorm room of James Oliver Seevakumaran, Monday, Mar. 18, 2013, in Orlando, Fla.
x
University of Central Florida police Chief Richard Beary, right, shows an example of the assault rifle, along with explosive devices, found in the dorm room of James Oliver Seevakumaran, Monday, Mar. 18, 2013, in Orlando, Fla.
University of Central Florida police Chief Richard Beary, right, shows an example of the assault rifle, along with explosive devices, found in the dorm room of James Oliver Seevakumaran, Monday, Mar. 18, 2013, in Orlando, Fla.
Reuters
A former student of the University of Central Florida shot and killed himself early on Monday in a dormitory apartment where police found guns, four bombs and writings suggesting he had been planning a campus attack, authorities said.
 
The dormitory was evacuated and classes at the Orlando school were canceled on Monday morning, but resumed at midday after the explosives were removed.
 
The university identified the shooter as James Oliver Seevakumaran, a 30-year-old business major who had been enrolled from fall 2010 through fall 2012.
 
Seevakumaran had not paid tuition or his housing bill for the spring semester, which began on Jan. 7, but had not yet been evicted, university spokesman Grant Heston said.
 
Campus police received a fire alarm at 12:20 a.m. on Monday and then a 911 emergency call “regarding a man with a gun,” at the school, which is one of the largest in the United States.
 
The shooter himself pulled the dormitory fire alarm, apparently to get students out of their rooms and into the open, then went to his apartment and pointed a gun at his roommate, campus Police Chief Richard Beary said.
 
The roommate ran into the bathroom, locked himself in and called 911, Beary said. Officers arrived three minutes after the fire alarm was pulled, rescued the roommate in the bathroom, and found the shooter in his bedroom, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, Beary said.
 
The dead man left writings and a timeline suggesting he had been planning an attack, which apparently was thwarted when his timeline was disrupted, Beary said.
 
He also left a handgun, a semi-automatic tactical rifle, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and four bombs, Beary said. He had bought the guns and ammunition from a local dealer, starting in February, the police chief said.
 
“It could have been a very bad day,” Beary said.
 
Seevakumaran had never been seen by university counselors or psychological services and had no misconduct records, university officials said.
 
His roommate told police that Seevakumaran was a loner and anti-social but had not seemed violent, Beary said.
 
Police sent students a text message at 2:09 a.m. to alert them that the residential Tower 1 dormitory, home to about 500 students, was being evacuated due to a “suspicious death.”
 
Another text alert at 2:46 a.m. reassured residents that there was no threat.
 
“It was clear at that point that there was no imminent threat from a live shooter, which is the first thing you worry about,” Heston said.
 
Residents, some wrapped in blankets or in sleepwear, were sent to another building on campus for food and counseling. Other dormitories were not evacuated.
 
Kathryn Wood, a 21-year-old junior from West Palm Beach, said she heard the fire alarm shortly after midnight, grabbed some money and went next door to a pizza restaurant to eat and wait out the situation.
 
A police officer, with what Wood described as the biggest gun she had ever seen, dashed into the restaurant and ordered everyone to leave immediately, she said. “It scared us all.”
 
Students were first sent a block away across the main campus loop road, then told to move back farther, to the student center, Wood said.
 
Sophomore Justin Love, 19, said he was about to fall asleep when he heard the fire alarm, but took the disturbance in stride.
 
“The way I look at it is, it didn't blow up,” Love said. “We're still here.”
 
The university has an enrollment of about 60,000 students, including those at satellite campuses and online.
 
A student, Laura Vickers, posted a message on the school's Facebook page, calling the incident a tragedy.
 
“I am sad to say a UCF Knight took their own life today in Tower 1,” Vickers wrote in a post that appeared around 8 a.m. "Despite the ... devices found in the student's room this loss was a tragedy.
 
“This week I encourage all UCF students to lend a helping hand to a roommate or friend or contact someone you haven't spoken to in awhile. Life is precious and it can end in the blink of an eye.”

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More