ORLANDO, Fla. — Officials said they found material that suggests a student who killed himself in a University of Central Florida dorm room may have been planning an attack on campus.
The student, identified as James Oliver Seevakumaran, 30, was found dead Monday in a dorm room in the Tower 1 student housing building.
The incident began when Seevakumaran's roommate called 911, saying his roommate had pointed a gun at him and that he was barricaded in a room away from Seevakumaran. But when authorities arrived, Seevakumaran was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head, they said.
As investigators were sweeping the dorm room, they found a .45-caliber handgun and tactical rifle, along with a couple hundred rounds of ammunition. Four improvised explosive devices were also found in a bag, which is when authorities called for an evacuation of the building.
Investigators said in the dorm room, they found notes and writings and even a timeline action that insinuate an attack was planned. Authorities said they believe Seevakumaran pulled the fire alarm and planned an attack on others, but the quick reaction by law enforcement may have stifled the plans.
"It's really scary to know that happened, and it's unfortunate that he was probably going through something," UCF student Jason Smith said.
Police brought in the bomb squad to examine the IEDs, and the bomb squad was able to deactivate them.
"You can take anything in the towers now. If you can sneak in a rifle, a pistol and explosive into towers, what prevents people from doing that?" said student Justin Love.
Officials said Seevakumaran was a business major and was enrolled in the school from fall 2010 through fall 2012. He was not enrolled this spring and did not pay for housing. He was in the process of being removed, but officials said that process takes time, and it was not completed by the time of the incident.
University spokesman Grant Heston said normal campus operations resumed around noon after the IEDs were taken away from the dorm, which remained closed.
Those who left the dorm were left with little information until the school sent out electronic messages.
"I came outside without a phone, a wallet," said Love. "This is all I have on me, this shirt and these shorts. So as far as getting information, I was in the dark."
The system of alerts is set up to keep more than 60,000 students and faculty members informed in similar situations. The school releases emergency alerts via email and text messages, along with online postings on the school website and Twitter, Facebook and other social media.
Students are automatically signed up for the service with information they provide to the registration office, but those who had no access to the latest technology say they wish school officials had also passed along the emergency information the old-fashioned way, too.
"If they just had at least one person who could come down and answer questions, at least one person would have been a lot better than nothing," said Love.
A UCF spokesperson said the alert system worked just as it was designed, and the school feels it did a good job providing students with accurate information.
About 500 students were evacuated from the dorm, and Heston said it would remain closed until authorities give an all-clear on the building.