ORLANDO, Fla. - The University of Central Florida Police Department on Monday released videos showing officers' response to a report of a student with a gun in a dorm Friday night.
Records show a Tower I resident knocked on the door of room 217 shortly after 11 p.m. to request that the residents turn the music down so he could study. A man came outside and said, "I'm (expletive) up, bro," then went back inside and turned down the music.
The witness said he saw the man had what looked like a black 9 mm gun tucked into his waistband. Police later determined it was a realistic-looking BB gun. The man notified a resident assistant, who then called police.
"We kind of need someone here right away," the RA said.
Body camera videos show officers banging on the door and the man coming out with his hands up within about 10 seconds. They immediately order the man to the ground and surround him.
"Where's the gun?" an officer asks.
"It's a BB gun," the man replies.
He tells them it's on a table in his bedroom.
"It's just a BB gun, I promise you. It's nothing else," he says.
The man was cooperative as officers explained to him why there was such a massive police response. He and his girlfriend were handcuffed and searched before they were later released. He was also apologetic.
"I'm sorry for this problem," he says.
"You're sorry for it? Yeah, sorry's a good place to start," an officer replies.
The man will not face criminal charges but he will be referred to UCF’s Office of Student Conduct to possibly face disciplinary action. University officials said he's been enrolled at the school for three weeks and is majoring in human communication.
The student allowed officers to go into the room and remove the BB gun.
Authorities later lectured him about how realistic the BB gun looked and tried to get him to understand why incidents of this type can prompt such a large police response. An alert was sent out to the entire campus community warning them of a potential on-campus emergency: "If you are in area of Tower 1 seek shelter immediately in nearest building, away from doors and windows."
UCF police officials later apologized for using "poor choice" in the language of the alert. They also took to social media to squash rumors that there was an active shooter on campus.
We understand that words matter. In a situation with heightened stress, we made a poor choice in our initial language.
We know this caused undue panic and stress by those we serve and protect, and for that we apologize. https://t.co/NAigCKl5B0 — UCF Police Dept. (@UCFPolice) July 27, 2019
He claimed he never carries the gun around.
"I didn't come to freaking UCF to change my future just to ruin it," he said, adding that he'll need to tell his baseball coaches about the incident.
Both he and his girlfriend were nervous and shaking.
UCF police Chief Carl Metzger said he's grateful things didn't turn out worse on Friday.
“I’m proud of the way UCFPD, along with our partners at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, responded to Friday night’s call. This is the type of situation we train for, and while there are things we certainly could do better, we’re grateful that this was resolved peacefully and that nobody was hurt. Situations such as these are never easy for law enforcement or for communities, but we’ll take our lessons learned and use them to improve our abilities to keep UCF safe,” Metzger said.
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