Body, explosives found on Florida college campus

Crime scene
Credit: Rikard Larma/Metro

The University of Central Florida closed its main campus in Orlando on Monday while police investigated an apparent suicide and a number of improvised explosives found overnight in a residence hall, school officials said.

Campus police received a 911 call “regarding a man with a gun” early Monday morning, according to the school. When police arrived, they found the body of a male victim of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound and closed the residence hall.

During the investigation, police discovered a handgun, an assault weapon and the explosive devices, the school said.

“Upon further examination of the student’s room, (police) found weapons and a bag containing improvised explosive devices,” said UCF spokesman Grant Heston.

At 2:09 a.m., police sent students a text alert saying that the residential Tower 1 dorm – home to about 500 students – would be evacuated due to a “suspicious death.”

Another text alert dispatched 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.

The Orange County Sheriff’s bomb squad was on campus, and the FBI was assisting the UCF police department.

The university is one of the largest in the United States, with an enrollment of about 60,000 students.

The school said the main campus would remain closed until noon, and classes scheduled to begin before that time would be canceled.

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.”


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