UCF Police increase campus security following FSU shooting
Following a shooting at Florida State University, UCF is cracking down on campus security.
An FSU alumnus opened fire in the Strozier Library on campus early Thursday morning, shooting and injuring three people, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
Fifty to 70 FSU Police Department and Tallahassee Police Department officers responded to the shooting. Campus police killed the gunman, who has been identified as Myron D'Shawn May by Tallahassee Police Department chief Michael DeLeo, after he fired at officers. One victim was hospitalized in critical condition and another in good condition. A third was grazed by a bullet, treated at the scene and released.
Following the incident, the UCF Police Department held a press conference detailing how it is increasing its safety measures.
"Here at the university … we've taken some proactive steps just to make sure that our students feel safe and we have a very visible presence, which we do every day," said UCF Police Chief Richard Beary. "We've kind of enhanced it a little bit and we'll continue that over the next few days."
Officers will continue to patrol the campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according ">to a release from Beary and Maribeth Ehasz, vice president for Student Development and Enrollment Services. Thursday morning, UCF implemented enhanced patrols in the library and other campus buildings.
All too familiar with the fear that follows a campus shooting, UCF has extended an offer to assist FSU with its response and recovery.
In March 2013, a former UCF student, James Seevakumaran, attempted an armed attack on campus that ended in his suicide. It was later found that Seevakumaran, who was armed with nearly 1,000 rounds of ammunition, planned to open fire on the residents of Tower 1. The first police officer arrived at the scene following a 911 phone call from the shooter's roommate — four minutes after Seevakumaran pulled the fire alarm, according to UCF After-Action Review.
Beary said his takeaway from the UCF shooting is that police response time matters.
"If we don't get there quickly, lives are going to be lost and people are going to die, so we understand the response time, we understand having the proper equipment because when you deal with these threats you have to have the right tools," Beary said.
UCF Police will continue its security methods, but Beary warned students that they should be aware of their surroundings as well.
"What we try to make sure our students understand is if something doesn't look right, tell us," he said. "If you see something, say something. If somebody doesn't look right, if you get that intuition that something's not right, let law enforcement decide, but the key is we have to know and we have to know quickly. It doesn't do us any good the next day."
If a situation were to happen again on the UCF campus, Beary advised students to always know where the exits are and how to get out safely.
"Whatever you've seen, you need to call law enforcement immediately and give us that information. Don't assume somebody else's called; give us that information so that we can act upon it," Beary said.
Beary also took a moment to recognize the victims of the shooting and the police who responded to the call.
"In light of the event that unfolded this morning at FSU, our thoughts immediately go out to the victims and we hope for a speedy recovery for them and then, of course, those law-enforcement officers that have to deal with the stress now of having taken somebody's life," Beary said.
Gov. Rick Scott also released a statement regarding the FSU shooting.
"I am asking everyone on FSU's campus and everyone across our state, and even the nation, to pray for FSU today. Pray for our state and every student and family affected by this tragedy," Scott said.
Scott thanked the police for their speedy response time and urged students to call their parents and let them know how they are doing. If students don't talk to their parents, Scott asked them to speak with their church, synagogue or counselors being organized by FSU.
"I know every Seminole has the heart of a dreamer. And, every dreamer is resilient. I look forward to seeing the FSU community all across our state and nation come together and lean on each other in the days ahead," Scott said.