Family speaks out after Florida Tech student shot, killed by police

Alhaji Sow, 18, accused of lunging at officers after assaulting people with knife on campus

The family of an 18-year-old Florida Tech University student who police say was shot and killed when he lunged at officers after assaulting people with a knife on campus will speak out Wednesday morning.

Melbourne police identified the student as Alhaji Sow, of Atlanta, who Florida Tech officials said studied aeronautical science. His mother and father will be joining their attorney in Viera at 9 a.m. to discuss the incident.

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According to a news release from Osborne & Francis Law Firm, the family hired its attorney to “conduct its own independent investigation into the shooting.”

According to the Melbourne Police Department, officers and campus security responded to a security threat at Roberts Hall at Florida Tech just before 11 p.m. Friday in reference to a man reportedly armed with a knife and assaulting students.

Police said they cornered him in Roberts Hall when he lunged at an officer. Melbourne police said one officer and a campus security officer shot at Sow, killing him.

Florida Tech students gathered for a vigil Tuesday night at the university’s campus.

“I’ve heard a lot of negative things. I personally didn’t think anything negative of him because I mean that was clearly not him,” said 20-year-old Anya Johnson, a friend of Sow. “I knew Alhaji. He was a good friend and I just find it so hard to think that he -- how much potential this world lost and all the chances he lost.”

Florida Tech said it will conduct its own investigation into what happened, once both the Melbourne Police Department and the Florida Department of Law enforcement complete their investigations.

Police: student armed with knife shot

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.