Police in Orlando, Florida say a college massacre was narrowly averted Monday morning at the University of Central Florida.
"It could have been a very bad day for everyone here," University Police Chief Richard Beary said. "Let's just face it: One shooting is bad enough. Multiples is unthinkable."
The Miami Herald said Central Florida, the university in Orlando is second-largest in the nation, with 61,000 students.
A student who had withdrawn from classes but was still living in a dormitory, had collected weapons and improvised explosives said Beary.
His plan apparently was to set off a fire alarm and gun down students in the hallway as they left their rooms. However, his roommate saw him with a gun, hid in a bathroom, and called 911.
Firefighters and police, alerted by the call, rushed to the campus. They found 30-year-old business major James Oliver Seevakumaran dead in his room in Tower 1 of an apparent self-inflicted wound.
Writings found in his room showed "there was a planned attack,” said Beary.
The student had no record of conflict with authorities and there were no indications found immediately of why he wanted to kill people, including teachers.
An assault weapon, a tactical .22 rifle, handmade explosives and a handgun were found. The rifle had a magazine capable of holding 28 bullets. Beary said the guns were a High Point 45-caliber semi-automatic pistol an American Tech 22-magnum tactical rifle, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Beary said the rifle could been smuggled into the form in a gym bag. Firearms are not allowed on campus. the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The aborted attack came as the U.S. Senate was considering a ban on assault rifle. Reports from Washington said the ban was going to be dropped. Perhaps if the Orlando asssault had transpired the bill would have been passed.
The state of Colorado, where both the Columbine and Aurora theater shootings occurred, passed several gun safety bills last week, including one limiting magazines to 15 bullets. Gov., a Democrat, was planning to sign the bills Wednesday.
It is not clear yet whether the U.S. Senate bill pass, and its fate in the Republican-controlled House is even less certain.
In Orlando, may events and activites were shut down, at least temporarily.
Wikipedia says: The Virginia Tech massacre was a school shooting that took place on April 16, 2007, on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, United States. Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at Virginia Tech, shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others in two separate attacks, approximately two hours apart, before committing suicide (another six people were injured escaping from classroom windows). The massacre is the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history. There are no records of Seevakumaran seeking UCF counseling or going to psychological services, according to Heston. Police said they believe no one else was involved in the plan, as Seevakumaran was described by his roommate as a "loner."
CBS News said Seevakumaran had not sought counseling. CBS said, “According to records, Seevakumaran was arrested in Seminole County in 2004, when he was 21, for serving alcohol to a minor. He reportedly got a pretrial diversion, meaning no conviction on his record. In 2008, he was arrested again for driving with a suspended license, to which he pleaded no contest and had adjudication withheld, meaning no conviction on his record…”
Reuters reported UCF student Laura Vickers posted a Facebook message lamenting the incident. "I am sad to say a UCF Knight took their own life today in Tower 1.” "Despite the ... devices found in the student's room this loss was a tragedy.
"This week I encourage all UCF students to lend a helping hand to a roommate or friend or contact someone you haven't spoken to in awhile. Life is precious and it can end in the blink of an eye."