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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.

By Correspondent / March 19, 2013

University of Central Florida police Chief Richard Beary, r., shows an example of the assault rifle, along with explosive devices, found in the dorm room of James Oliver Seevakumaran, who died of an apparent suicide Monday. Police found evidence indicating that Mr. Seevakumaran was planning a campus attack.

Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP


A University of Central Florida student who committed suicide early Monday morning intended to launch a much larger campus attack, officials report. The police are still investigating his motive, but details have emerged about the student and evidence of his plans.

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UCF students talk about response to planned attack

The deceased student and would-be gunman is James Oliver Seevakumaran, a 30-year-old business student. He was enrolled at UCF in Orlando from fall 2010 through fall 2012, after transferring from Seminole State College. He was not enrolled in any classes for the spring and had not paid tuition for the semester. The university was trying to take a “compassionate approach” in the process of evicting Mr. Seevakumaran from campus housing, university spokesman Grant Heston told reporters Monday.

Roommates told officials that Mr. Seevakumaran never behaved violently, but that he was antisocial. He had never visited university counselors nor had any known disciplinary problems with other students. He had worked at an on-campus sushi restaurant, Mr. Heston said.

Seevankumaran lived in Tower 1, a seven-story dormitory at UCF, the nation’s second-largest university with nearly 60,000 students.

Police said Seevakumaran pulled a fire alarm soon after midnight on Monday morning, planning to shoot students as they left the building. His plan was thwarted by police officers’ quick response to the alarm and a 911 call from one of Seevakumaran’s roommates, who saw him with a gun. Seevakumaran shot himself as officers arrived and before any other students were hurt.

"His timeline got off," UCF Police Chief Richard Beary said, according to a report by the Associated Press. "We think the rapid response of law enforcement may have changed his ability to think quickly on his feet."

In his room, police found two guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, four handmade explosives, and notes with a timeline for planning a campus attack.

“It could have been a very bad day here for everybody. All things considered, I think we were very blessed here at the University of Central Florida,” Chief Beary said. "One shooting is bad enough. Multiples would have been unthinkable. So, anybody armed with this type of weapon and ammunition could have hurt a lot of people here, particularly in a crowded area as people were evacuating."


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