UCF releases more evidence in investigation into planned campus attack
Officials say number of changes are coming to campus as result of investigation
University of Central Florida officials have released more evidence on Friday in the thwarted March 18 attempted planned attack on campus by a former UCF student, as officials implement changes to campus policies.
UCF released their full after-action review, along with the Orange County Sheriff's Office crime scene report, the Orange County Medical Examiner's autopsy report, statements from James Seevakumaran's roommates, a short story written by Seevakumaran, a letter written to Seevakumaran from Trey Sesler, along with 13 pictures.
The pictures from Seevakumaran's computer show him holding a gun and with a gas mask. The pictures also include his backpack, containing four homemade bombs and a handwritten floorplan of his dorm with the number of students on each floor, at his feet after he shot and killed himself.
[WARNING, CONTENT MAY BE GRAPHIC | PICS: UCF releases photos | READ: Manifesto | Autopsy Report | Crime scene report | Sesler letter | Roommate statements ]
UCF News and Information Associate Vice President Grant Heston, UCF Vice President Al Harms and UCF Police Chief Richard Beary gave an update on the university’s after-action review and the conclusions of the police investigation at a news conference on Friday.
"UCF is a safe campus," said Harms, commenting on how the university is proud of the on-campus crime statistics declining over the years. "No place is 100 percent secure."
Police said Seevakumaran could have killed other students if his gun had not jammed.
“Once the plan was in place, there was no turning back. He knew that he had 10 to 15 minutes that he was going to be able to do harm to our students, but when he didn’t have those 10 or 15 minutes, the plan went awry," said Beary. "With his weapon jammed and law enforcement outside the door, his options were limited. We were incredibly lucky."
The evidence also showed Seevakumaran was sharing his plan with a man imprisoned in Texas for allegedly killing his parents. Police also found a handwritten post-it in his room saying "Hate is key."
30-year-old Seevakumaran, a UCF business major who wasn't enrolled in the spring semester, shot and killed himself in a third-floor dorm room at Tower 1 on the Orlando campus in March after pulling the fire alarm to set off his attack on campus.
UCF was in the process of evicting Seevakumaran on March 18 after switching the locks on his door two times due to an unpaid bill of $7,230, the locks were to be changed for a final time. As a result, one of the new policies will be expediting housing removal if students aren't enrolled in classes, officials said.
Local 6 is in the process of going through the evidence. Check back for a full report.
Police said Seevakumaran left behind his plan scribbled on paper, which included setting off the fire alarm, going to a bar and drinking and "give them hell."
The plan was thwarted after his roommate called 911 and police officers responded quickly.
"Because our response time was so quick he was in that room, I personally believe and professionally believe this caused confusion and the plan had to change," said Beary.
Since the shooting, UCF has offered an Emergency Expo where students were getting coached from professionals on how to handle emergencies.
Watch Local 6 for more on this story.