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

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid