Guns, explosives found after Fla. student suicide

March 18, 2013 - 3:28 PM
Explosive Device College

University of Central Florida police block off a street near the Tower 1 dorm, tall building center, after explosive devices were found by authorities investigating the apparent suicide of a college student in the dorm, Monday, March 18, 2013, in Orlando, Fla. Hundreds of students were evacuated, though the school said there was no immediate threat. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A college student killed himself in a dorm at the University of Central Florida early Monday and investigators found homemade explosives and two guns in the room, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people in the middle of the night, authorities said.

Authorities gave no immediate details on what the student may have been planning.

"Obviously you never want somebody to commit suicide, but knowing what we know about what was in his room, we feel better at least that no one else was hurt," said Grant Heston, a spokesman at the 51,000-student campus.

Classes and other campus operations resumed around noon after the explosive devices were taken away, while the dorm remained closed, Heston said. A bomb squad spent the morning examining the devices.

University police were called to the Tower I building around 12:20 a.m. after a fire alarm went off, Heston said. While they were on their way, a 911 call came in about a man with a gun.

Officers arrived to find a student dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the dorm where he lived with three roommates, police said.

Investigators said they discovered an assault weapon, a handgun and makeshift explosive devices in the room where the student died. Florida law prohibits guns on state university campuses.

About 500 students were evacuated from the building and morning classes were canceled.

Antonio Whitehead, 21, said he heard the fire alarm go off and thought it was a routine event.

"All of a sudden, I felt the crowd move a little faster. And a police officer with a machine gun or something told everyone to start moving a lot faster," he said.

Grant Hernandez, 20, said: "We weren't allowed to get our cars. We weren't allowed to get our personal effects." He added, "All we saw were people running, and they were not telling us what was going on."

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Associated Press writer Freida Frisaro in Miami contributed to this report.