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UCF: Dead Tower I resident had planned elaborate campus attack

By Laura Newberry and Dave Carriere
On March 18, 2013

A UCF Tower I resident who died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound early Monday morning appears to have been planning an attack on campus, according to UCF officials.

UCF Police Department Chief Richard Beary said James Oliver Seevakumaran, a business major who was enrolled at the university through the fall 2012 semester but still lived in Tower I, had laid a timeline and planned actions that indicated he was intending to make an attack Monday.

UCF spokesman Grant Heston said that, though Seevakumaran hadnt paid for the spring 2013 semester and therefore wasnt a student, the university tried to take a compassionate approach and not kick him off right away.

When officers responded to a 911 call and fire alarm at Tower I at about 12:20 a.m., they found Seevakumarans body, along with a .45 caliber handgun and .22 caliber Magnum tactical rifle, both of which were purchased at an Orlando gun shop sometime in the beginning of February, Beary said.

The 911 call was made by Seevakumarans roommate, who escaped to the bathroom after Seevakumaran threatened him with a gun.

Police speculate that Seevakumaran pulled the fire alarm in order to get other residents in the open to execute his attack, but he panicked when police showed up and turned a gun on himself, Beary said.

The rapid response of law enforcement may have changed his ability to think quickly on his feet, he said.

Police said they also found a bag full of improvised explosive devices and about 200 rounds of ammunition in his room.

Beary said Seevakumarans roommates, two of whom were at the apartment when the fire alarm went off, described him as a loner who didnt have contact with many people. A third roommate was out of town Monday morning.

Heston said Seevakumaran, a transfer student from Seminole State College, was never seen by UCF Counseling and Psychological Services and had no student conduct cases.

Seevakumaran first enrolled at UCF in fall 2010, Heston said.

Tower I is now completely open to residents.

President John C. Hitt said the universitys goal moving forward is to learn from Mondays events.

Nothing is more important than the safety of our UCF community. We will use this incident to become more prepared, more alert and more secure, Hitt said.

Hitt also said that the situation could have ended much worse.

Its a tragedy, but it wasnt an unspeakable tragedy. A life was lost, but it was that of a perpetrator, he said.

Updates to this story will be made as they become available.


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