March 18, 2013 -- A planned massacre was thwarted today at the University of Central Florida where a student who had assembled an arsenal, including a high capacity drum magazine and home made bombs, took his own life as cops closed in on him.
James Oliver Seevakumaran, who was in the process of being kicked out of his dorm on the UCF campus, had written out a timeline and elaborate plan for how to harm the greatest number of individuals during the planned attack, university Police Chief Richard Beary said today.
The suspect accumulated multiple weapons, including American Tactical .22 caliber assault rifle and a High Point .45 caliber handgun, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and high capacity magazines, including a drum magazine similar to the type used in the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo.
Seevakumaran, 30, had also assembled four homemade improvised explosive devices which officials described as Molotov cocktail-type incendiaries believed to be lined with shrapnel.
Seevakumaran planned to use all of the weapons after pulling a fire alarm to draw students out of their rooms very early this morning, police said.
Shortly after midnight, he activated a fire alarm in the building to enact his plan and then returned to his apartment to retrieve his weapons, according to Beary.
Campus police were responding to the fire alarm call at the dorm when Seevakumaran's roommate called 911 to say that Seevakumaran had pointed a gun at him, causing the roommate to flee to the bathroom and lock himself inside.
Police believe that Seevakumaran planned to go out into the hallway as students evacuated and fire the weapons and detonate bombs.
Instead, police arrived at the suspect's apartment in Tower 1 with the knowledge that there was a report of a man with a gun. Beary said that officers were armed when they entered Seevakumaran's apartment.
They freed the roommate from the bathroom and found Seevakumaran dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Beary said.
"What we think is his timeline got off, the rapid response of law enforcement maybe have changed his ability to think quickly on his feet," Beary said.
The roommate told police that Seevakumaran, whose family lives in Florida, had exhibited some anti-social behavior but that the roommates had never seen him with weapons or act violently.
The university said that he had been enrolled as a student at UCF from fall 2010 to fall 2012. He did not enroll for the spring 2013 term, and the university was in the process of moving him out of the residence hall. A spokesman said that the university takes a "compassionate" position toward students that are no longer enrolled, instead of forcing them off campus immediately.
Police said Seevakumaran obtained the weapons at an Orlando area gun shop, and that he began amassing ammunition in early February.
Classes resumed at the University of Central Florida today after police removed the bombs and an assault weapon from a dorm. The campus was reopened around noon.
A bomb squad from the Orange County Sheriff's Department removed the explosive devices.
"University police responded immediately when we received a fire alarm call and a subsequent 911 call," Beary said in a statement released in the morning by the school. "The safety of our students in Tower 1 and our entire campus community is our top priority."
Students who were evacuated from their dorm rooms in the Tower 1 residence hall were housed at the UCF Arena until they were allowed back into their rooms, the school said.