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Orange Co. deputies under fire over tweet about shot fired near UCF

Tweet said there was no credible report of shots fired near campus

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Residents who watched a man fire his gun in their neighborhood near the University of Central Florida are asking why the Orange County Sheriff's Office sent out a tweet claiming it didn't happen.

According the a deputy's incident report, the shooting happened at 8 p.m. Thursday along the 3600 block of Khayyam Avenue, which is one block west of the UCF campus and home to several fraternities.

Colin Schotter said he came out on his balcony when he heard a loud argument in the street, never thinking it would end in gunfire.

"I was really surprised. Honestly I didn't think that was going to happen," he said. "When I heard the arguing and when I came out on the balcony, I was expecting at most a fight or something."

Schotter said he watched all three men pull out guns and one man fired. All three men ran off, he said.

Orange County sheriff's deputies responded to the scene, where its report indicates deputies interviewed two witnesses and recovered a 9mm Ruger Tulammo shell casing.

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At about the same time their investigation was being conducted, the Orange County Sheriff's Office Twitter account sent out a tweet, which read, "No credible report of shots fired tonight near UCF."

Schotter disagrees.

"There was definitely a threat. There was a man with a gun, and he was shooting in a residential neighborhood with students all around so it was 100 percent a threat there," Schotter said. "I don't know why they reported such a thing."

UCF spokeswoman Courtney Gilmartin told Local 6 the university did not send out a campus alert about the shooting because of what their officer was told by the Orange County sheriff's deputy at the scene.

"After speaking with OCSO, he determined that there was no active, imminent threat to campus, so we did not send out a UCF Alert," she said.

Local 6 asked Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jeff Williamson why his department would send a tweet that contradicted what the deputy's incident report detailed.

Williamson told Local 6 that there was indeed a credible report of shots fired Tuesday night on Khayyam Avenue.

"The tweet was incorrect. In fact multiple patrol deputies arrived on scene and interviewed witnesses," Williamson said. "There was a potential victim who declined to prosecute and a witness who gave testimony as to what he saw."

Williamson said shell casings were recovered at the scene and the case is open and ongoing. He said it appeared everything patrol deputies did Tuesday night were on point.


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