Friends mourn Florida Tech student who was shot by police

Fatal campus confrontation started with report of a student with a knife

MELBOURNE, Fla. – Friends are mourning the loss of the Florida Tech student, Melbourne police said first responders shot when the armed student lunged at them. It all started on campus Friday night with a report of a student with a knife.

A Melbourne police dispatcher reported receiving a call about someone armed with a knife who was chasing somebody else.

Police who responded then reported shots were fired and the suspect was down.

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In a news release over the weekend, police said an officer was injured.

Police identified the student as 18-year-old Alhaji Sow from Atlanta. Florida Tech said he studied aeronautical science.

In Georgia, brothers Mickael and Malachi Victor-Thom described Sow as being very smart and they said he was their best friend.

Their family remembered him as a calm person. Malachi Victor-Thom said Sow was the last person he would think of anything bad happening to.

‘’He doesn’t really do stuff off of emotion,’’ he said. ‘’Ever since I’ve known him, I’ve probably only seen him get mad twice,’’ he continued.

So far, investigators have not determined a motive.

Faith, the brothers’ mother, said her sons looked up to Alhaji.

‘’He is not a person to get into any confrontation, any type of anything,’’ she said.

Police and the school have not met with reporters to be interviewed.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the confrontation. As soon as the FDLE, Melbourne police or Florida Tech provide any new information, we will share those details with you.

About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.