Florida Tech student attacked police with scissors before fatal shooting, report says

Meanwhile the student’s parents are conducting their own investigation.

MELBOURNE, Fla. – Police released new details Monday in the Friday incident on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology that led to police shooting a student.

Alhaji Sow’s parents also spoke out for the first time.

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‘’You don’t know how much pain you get from losing a child,’’ Mohamed Sow said about his son.

Melbourne police say everything began when Sow got in a fight with a friend.

Police said Sow then started running around campus with a knife while punching students, vandalizing cars and breaking a residence hall window.

Students called 911.

‘’There is someone that is going around hitting people and hitting cars and he had a knife. He dropped his knife,’’ a residence assistant reported.

Another woman on the line described to the operator being attacked by Sow.

‘’He just came out of nowhere and started beating the [expletive] out of me,’’ she said.

When authorities found Sow in a dorm, police now say he was holding a pair of scissors. They say he lunged at an officer and struck the officer in the leg.

Police said the officer and a school security guard then shot Sow multiple times.

Sow’s parents said the allegations are out-of-character for their son.

The family hired attorney Greg Francis to help conduct their own investigation of the confrontation.

‘’This is a college campus where there undoubtedly will be mental health crisis by a number of students over the course of time, and they do not always require lethal force,’’ Francis said.

Sow’s father said his son wanted a career in cyber security.

This was his first semester at Florida Tech and his family said Sow only planned to be here for a year.

Then, he wanted to transfer to Georgia Tech, closer to his family in Atlanta.

‘’It is so sad,’’ Mohamed Sow said. ‘’We just want to know why did Alhaji have to die like this.’’

Melbourne police and Florida Tech have not agreed to be interviewed since the incident.


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.