UCF officials: Suspect's family issues brief statement Tuesday - WFLA News Channel 8

UCF officials: Suspect's family issues brief statement Tuesday

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ORLANDO, FL -

Tuesday, the family of James Oliver Seevakumarin issued a statement that read, "James was a loner and did not have a history of violence.  The family does not wish to make any further comments to the media, and they are requesting privacy during this difficult time.  Please direct all inquiries regarding this case to the University of Central Florida Police Department, (407) 823-5300."

The situation began when it was reported that a college student killed himself in a dorm at the University of Central Florida early Monday and investigators found explosives, guns, and a plan to attack the UCF campus.
    
Authorities didn't specifically say what the student's plan outlined.
    
"Obviously you never want somebody to commit suicide, but knowing what we know about what was in his room, we feel better at least that no one else was hurt," Heston said.
    
University police were called to the dorm around 12:20 a.m. after a fire alarm went off, Heston said. While they were on their way to the scene, a 911 call came in about a man with a gun.
    
Arriving officers found Seevakumarin, a 30-year-old business major, dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a residence at the Tower 1 dorm. Heston said Seevakumarin was a student at the university.  However, records indicate that he had not enrolled for the spring semester, and the school had begun the process of removing him from the dorm.  University officials say there had been no previous incidents with Seevakumarin during his two years on campus. 
    
Heston said the dorm has suites, with a main kitchen and living area, along with four bedrooms. The dead man was inside one of the rooms. Inside the room, Heston said, police discovered explosives and guns in Seevakumarin's room along with plans for an attack on the UCF campus.  "This individual had laid out a time line, and laid out some of what we feel were going to be some of his actions."  Said UCF Police Chief, Daniel Berry.  On Monday morning, flashing signs around the campus alerted students and staff about the canceled classes. The university said on its Website that its main campus in Orlando has about 51,000 students, while satellite campuses add about 8,000 more.
    

Antonio Whitehead, 21, a junior from Hollywood, Fla., said he heard the fire alarm go off after midnight and thought it was a routine alarm. He headed outside where he saw a crowd already heading across the street from the dorm.
    
"All of a sudden, I felt the crowd move a little faster. And a police officer with a machine gun or something told everyone to start moving a lot faster," he said.
    
Whitehead, who has lived in the dorm for two years, said the students were moved to an open area about 1,000 feet from UCF Arena. The area is a busy section of the campus, with restaurants and shops nearby.
    
Grant Hernandez, 20, a sophomore from Orlando who also is a resident at the dorm, said he woke up sometime after midnight when police were evacuating the building.
    
"We weren't allowed to get our cars. We weren't allowed to get our personal effects," Hernandez said.
    
"All we saw were people running, and they were not telling us what was going on," he added. "We were left unsure of things. It wasn't till about 6 o'clock that we got more information and a clearer picture of what was going on." He said officers on the scene began providing more information, and students checked updates on the university's Website.
    
A statement there said the UCF Arena would open to accommodate displaced students. Counselors would be available to talk to students who need assistance.
    
The Tower 1 dorm is part of the school's popular Towers at Knight Plaza apartment building complex, according to UCF's Website. Tower 1 has seven floors. The typical apartment layout has four bedroom and two bathrooms, the Website says. Heston said the student who died had three roommates.

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