No threat found after gunwoman reported at UCF
Following reports of a possible gunwoman inside the UCF library, police have reopened the building to students after finding no such person.
The school sent out a UCF alert to the community at 3:52 p.m. that read "POSSIBLE MIDDLE EASTERN GUN MAN/WOMAN IN UCF MAIN CAMPUS LIBRARY. AVOID THE AREA!" However, the scene was cleared around 5 p.m. with "no threat found," according to the UCF Police Department's Twitter.
Courtney Gilmartin, public information officer for UCFPD, said officers first heard about the potential threat through an unconfirmed social media post. Although unclear if it's the post in question, a student wrote in a closed class group about "someone who appeared to be holding a gun in their hands and praying."
The Facebook user urged students, "If anyone is at the library please be cautious and I would leave immediately."
After a thorough search of the entire building, police were not able to substantiate the reports and no one has been taken into custody at this time.
"Unfortunately, this is the problem with social, but we have to take it like it's the real deal," UCF Police Chief Richard Beary said in a video posted to UCFPD's Twitter.
Police were not able to confirm any armed person inside the building, but evacuated all floors of the library as a precaution. No injuries were reported.
UCF student Kayla Stevens was in the library when the warning came through.
“They came over the intercom and told us there was a potential threat. It wasn’t until I got the UCF alert that I knew the person had a gun," she said. "Within minutes the officers rushed in carrying huge guns. After I left the library I waited out here for about an hour and a half.
“I thought that it was crazy and surprising because you never think that you’ll be in a situation like that. I’m just glad that nobody was hurt.”
Soon after the building was reopened, a gunshot was heard by reporters and witnesses, although it's believed to be a misfire from an officer.
During the search, officers were seen entering the front of the John C. Hitt library with vests and assault rifles, and many helicopters were spotted hovering over the area.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates and follow us @ucfnews on Twitter for live coverage.
Evan Abramson is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future. Jillian James, a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future, contributed to this report.