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Roommate's 911 call, rapid response thwarted UCF student's deadly plan (+video)

'His timeline got off,' Richard Beary, police chief at the University of Central Florida, said of would-be gunman James Seevakumaran. The ex-UCF student, who killed himself, may have been interrupted by police arriving on scene after a roommate's 911 call.

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Beary said Seevakumaran bought both guns found in the dorm room from an Orlando gun shop – the first in February, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

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One was a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, and the other was a .22-caliber tactical rifle, capable of holding 28 rounds of ammunition. Firearms are not allowed on the UCF campus, but Beary said the rifle could have easily been hidden in a gym bag and brought into the dorm building.

The FBI is analyzing what materials were used to make the four improvised explosives, but the bombs were “not in the final completed stages,” officials said. Beary told CNN that Seevakumaran built them himself, and that together they would not have been powerful enough to bring down the building.

In his CNN interview, Beary said authorities are still piecing together Seevakumaran’s timeline for the planned attack and glean whether he had specific targets.

"It wasn't exactly clear what the attack was going to consist of. However, he did have a timeline of how he was getting ready and preparing and then in the end, he would just 'give them hell' is the quote that he used," Beary said.

Tower 1 reopened to students Monday night, but some students say they are not sure they feel safe enough to return.

When the fire alarm went off early Monday, 500 students evacuated the dorm. Some thought it was a routine fire drill.

"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," student Antonio Whitehead told the Associated Press.

Elaine Sayre told the Orlando Sentinel she had never imagined that someone might keep weapons in the dorm.

"You are going to wonder, walking down the halls," she said. "What does someone have in their room?"

University officials said Monday the incident showed that campus safety is the highest priority.

“Times like today challenge us individually, as an organization, and as a university community,” said UCF President John Hitt in a statement. “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 test of compassion is also very important, and our prayers go to everyone affected by [Monday's] incident.”

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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