UF students traveling abroad robbed by armed gunman


A group of University of Florida students traveling abroad were visiting a school in South Africa when they were followed and confronted by armed gunmen who robbed them.  

None of the students was hurt, but locals who stepped in to help were wounded in a shooting.

UF spokesman Steve Orlando says the students are doing remarkably well.  

“I’m sure it was a traumatic and scary experience for them. Three of them, from my understanding, are either enroute or are in the process of coming home,” said Orlando.

“But the remaining students, from what I’m hearing, are in good spirits and are extremely resiliant and have expressed interest in continuing with the trip.”

Maya Barrett is one of the students on the trip and is from the Tampa Bay area.  

She posted on her Facebook page, “I would like to begin by thanking everyone who has reached out after this incident. Your kindness, prayers, and thoughts have meant the world to me and my cohort. We are all safe and grateful to have walked away from the crime alive.”

Orlando says authorities in South Africa are working to track down the gunmen. In the meantime, the university will reflect on what happened and make sure it is doing the best job it can in protecting students during trips abroad.  

“So that of course gives us the opportunity that we’re going to take to just step back and review how everything was done. See if there is any room for improvement or change,” Orlando said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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