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Suicide victim found dead in Tower I with assault weapon, explosive devices


Published: Monday, March 18, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 10:03

Police at Towers

Adrienne Cutway/Central Florida Future

Police responding to a suspicious death, which caused evacuations on campus.

A man was found dead with an assault weapon and improvised explosive devices in Tower I around midnight Monday, according to UCF spokesman Grant Heston.

UCF spokesman Chad Binette confirmed the man found dead was a student at the school.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office and the FBI are assisting the UCF Police Department with the investigation. The explosives found in the student's dorm apartment have been rendered safe and will removed by noon, according to UCF News & Information.

"Knowing what was in his room, we feel better knowing that no one else was harmed," Heston said.

A fire alarm was pulled shortly after midnight, and students in the residence hall left the building, according to Tower I resident Jillian Graham.

Graham, a sophomore advertising and public relations major, said students were told there was a situation in room 604 and were directed to go to the Student Union.

At 2:09 a.m., UCF sent out an alert saying that the evacuation was due to a suspicious death. A follow-up alert was sent at 2:46 a.m. informing students that there was no threat on campus.

Around 4:30 a.m. improvised explosive devices were found in Tower I, Heston said. Orange County Bomb Squad was called to the scene to investigate.

Heston said the man appeared to have shot himself. He also said he believes the man was the owner of the assault weapon and the explosive devices.

Hank Kleinberg, a senior English major, was inside Tower I when it was evacuated and was left without a place to stay for the night.

“From what I’ve heard about what’s actually going on, I am kind of glad that they got me out of the building because I heard assault weapons, explosives, I just wish I had been warned beforehand…,” Kleinberg said.

He said the university did a good job keeping the situation under control but could have done a better job communicating the details to students. 

"...UCF Police responded very quickly and very professionally and admirably to this situation and we continue to do so and that, too, every decision is guided by the health and safety of our entire campus community," Heston said. 

Classes on UCF’s main campus will be canceled until noon.

Heston said more information will be available after a press conference planned for approximately 3:45 p.m.

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