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Guns in dorms: Why did Florida student stash weapons before suicide? (+video)

A student who apparently killed himself with a gun early Monday also had an assault rifle and explosive materials in his dorm room at University of Central Florida, authorities say. It's illegal to have guns on campus in Florida, but some other states now allow them.


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, in Orlando, Fla. Hundreds of students were evacuated, though the school said there was no immediate threat.

John Raoux/AP

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A student at the University of Central Florida apparently shot himself to death early Monday in his dorm room, triggering an evacuation of some 500 students at the seven-story dormitory after authorities responding at the scene also found an assault weapon, a handgun, and improvised explosive devices in his room.

"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 university spokesman Grant Heston.

The deceased student, found just after midnight, has not been publicly identified. Police said the explosive devices they found in a bag in his room “have been made safe” and removed from the building, police said. Besides evacuating the dorm, police also cleared a nearby parking garage. Classes at the Orlando public university were cancelled in the morning, but resumed Monday afternoon. Authorities have not said what the student’s intentions may have been. 

The incident – along with several campus shootings this year – has fueled the debate about whether allowing guns on campus enhances or diminishes safety.

The push to allow people to carry concealed firearms on college campuses surged after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, in which 33 people were killed by a single shooter. Gun-rights advocates, such as the group Students for Concealed Carry, support overturning college gun bans. 

Explosives safely removed from UCF dorm room

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