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Weapons, explosives found in Florida dorm

by KYLE HIGHTOWER Associated Press on March 18, 2013 10:20 AM

ORLANDO, Fla. — Authorities investigating an apparent suicide discovered weapons and explosive devices in a dorm on the University of Central Florida campus in Orlando early today, and hundreds of students were evacuated, though the school said there was no immediate threat.

University police were called to the dorm around 12:20 a.m. after a fire alarm went off, UCF spokesman Grant Heston said.

While they were on their way to the scene, a 911 call came in about a man with a gun.

Arriving officers found a man dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a residence at the Tower 1 dorm.

Heston said the dorm has suites, with a main kitchen and living area, along with four bedrooms. The dead man was inside one of the rooms.

Inside the room, police also found an assault weapon, a handgun and improvised explosive devices.

Heston said the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI are helping with the investigation. The sheriff’s bomb squad was examining the explosive devices this morning.

About 500 students were evacuated from the dorm and an adjacent parking garage was closed.

“We don’t believe there is any imminent threat to the campus,” Heston said.

The university canceled classes through noon today as a precaution.

Officials have not said whether the dead man was a university student.

A statement on the university’s website said the UCF Arena would open to accommodate displaced students. Counselors would be available to talk to students who need assistance.

A spokeswoman for State University System Chancellor Frank Brogan said he was called this morning by UCF President John Hitt and told about the situation unfolding on campus.

“As far as we know no other students are in danger,” Kim Wilmath said.

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