UCF Resumes Class, Students Shocked Classmate Had So Much Weaponry Hidden In Apartment
Police deluge Tower 1 at UCF last night
They thought it was safe. They thought it was secure. They thought it couldn't happen here.
"It's scary knowing it was this campus," a senior studying psychology named Sarah said. "He had bombs and assault weapons and you think it's a safe place to be, but behind someone's closed door, there are things lurking."
Sarah, who requested her last name be kept secret, said the university's text messages and e-mails began at 2 a.m., alerting her and others that a man had been found dead inside Tower 1, settled far away from most campus buildings, but home to more than 500 students.
School officials have now confirmed this man was a student. Next to him were an assault rifle, a handgun, and several improvised explosive devices.
In just four hours, the university has been deluged by phone calls across the nation as parents check in with their children, and reporters hound the press office.
While Tower 1 doesn't have metal detectors at its entrance, firearms aren't allowed on state university campuses. At Tower 1, students must sign in before entering. Grant Heston, university police spokesperson, said the person who was found dead was able to "sneak" the weapons into the building, using "common sense" approaches.
He declined to specify what that method may be.
Then, last night, university police received a 911 call telling them of an armed man in Tower 1, and when they arrived, they found the man dead -- apparently of suicide. The Orange County Bomb Control, and the FBI investigated the scene, and as of noon today, had cleared all "explosive materials."
Classes have resumed, but Heston said Tower 1 will remain empty. He didn't have a timeframe for when students will be able to return there.
"It's a crime scene," he said.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.