Update, March 21, 6 p.m.
UCF’s Board of Trustees today applauded the work of UCF’s emergency responders, staff and students for their efficient response to Monday’s incident. Board Chairman Michael J. Grindstaff said that he has been involved with the university for 39 years and that Monday was “one of the toughest days of our history.
UCF Police Chief Richard Beary provided a recap of this week’s investigation at the board meeting and said that investigators have conducted hundreds of interviews related to Monday’s incident and are reviewing procedures to enhance security.
UCF Counseling and Psychological Services has had more than 730 interactions with students this week.
Update, March 20, 2 p.m.
Law enforcement’s investigation is ongoing, and counseling services continue to be offered in Tower 1 and in the Counseling Center. Bodhi, the Counseling Center’s therapy dog, is also available to students.
Updated information will be posted here as it becomes available. Updates may be more infrequent due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.
Update, March 19, 5:10 p.m.
Today, the mailroom at the Towers at Knights Plaza received two packages mailed to James Seevakumaran. They included two magazine clips, a gun sling and a shooting-related training DVD. They arrived on March 12, but they were not picked up. Staff alerted police about them today.
The deceased left a check list of his violent plans. However, police are not yet aware of a motive.
Investigators believe the deceased acted alone. There are no known connections to other students or groups.
The investigation will continue, and more information will be made public as it becomes available.
A UCF Police officer was at Tower 1 throughout last night, and police have also increased patrols around campus. Increased patrols at Tower 1 will be in place for the foreseeable future.
The Seevakumaran family released this statement today: “The family of James Oliver Seevakumaran states that 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.”
Update, March 19, 1:50 p.m.
President John C. Hitt sent out a message to the UCF community today. To read it, click here.
Update, March 18, 6:30 p.m.
Tower 1 is now completely reopened.
5:20 p.m. update: Most of Tower 1 has reopened. Only the third floor, where today’s incident occurred, remains evacuated. The Veterans Academic Resource Center remains open to serve students who are still unable to return to their rooms. Counseling services, food and water, as well as places to rest, are available.
The deceased in today’s incident is James Oliver Seevakumaran, 30. He was a student in the College of Business Administration enrolled from fall 2010 through fall 2012. He was not enrolled in any courses in spring 2013 and was in the process of being removed from UCF housing, where he lived on the third floor of Tower 1.
Seevakumaran was found in his apartment with a handgun, tactical assault rifle and backpack containing four IEDs.
UCF Police were assisted in the investigation by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, ATF and FDLE.
It appears as if Seevakumaran had a larger-scale timeline of violence planned. No individuals were named specifically, and he was acting alone, according to preliminary investigations.
“Times like today challenge us individually, as an organization, and as a university community,” said UCF President John C. Hitt. “The first test for all of us is whether we are focused on the safety of our community, and I am confident that UCF has passed that test. The safety and welfare of our students, faculty and staff, visitors, and neighbors is UCF’s highest priority. The test of compassion is also very important, and our prayers go to everyone affected by today’s incident.”
“It could have been a very bad day for everybody here,” said UCF Police Chief Richard Beary. “All things considered, I think we were very here blessed at the University of Central Florida.”
The University of Central Florida main campus reopened for classes and regular operations at noon Monday. All of the improvised explosive devices were removed from Tower 1 before classes resumed. Tower 1 is a residence hall located in Knights Plaza near the UCF Arena.
The Veterans Academic Resource Center near the UCF Arena opened at 7 a.m. for residents of Tower 1. Counseling services and food have been available, along with places to rest. The VARC remains open for students living on the third floor of Tower 1.
The university asks faculty members to be understanding that students living in Tower 1 will not have access to their textbooks, laptops and other materials.
Counseling and Psychological Services is offering crisis services today in its main office as well as at the Veterans Academic Resource Center. Students can meet individually or in small groups with CAPS clinicians. In-person crisis services are available until 6 p.m. at both locations, and telephone crisis services will be available thereafter until the office opens again at 8 a.m. Tuesday. If the need arises, expanded hours for in-person crisis services will be provided. Students can call CAPS’ main office at 407-823-2811 to schedule an appointment or can walk in to either location for services. For telephone crisis services after 6 p.m., students can call 407-823-2811 and select option 5.
UCF Police received a fire alarm call at about 12:20 a.m. While responding to that call, police received a 911 call regarding a man with a gun. When police arrived, they found a victim who died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Tower 1 was evacuated, and Parking Garage G was closed. As investigators reviewed the scene, they found a handgun, an assault weapon and IEDs.
UCF closed the main campus for classes and normal operations until noon. Essential personnel reported to work, but other employees were asked to stay off campus until noon. All classes scheduled to start before noon today are canceled.
Classes and operations in the Central Florida Research Park and all regional campuses and satellite facilities will continue as scheduled today.
Additional updates will be posted on this page.