ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A former student who plotted an attack at the University of Central Florida kept to himself and left little impression on his classmates before his suicide led to the discovery of his weapons and his plans.
James Oliver Seevakumaran was described as a loner both by police and in a brief statement from his family released Tuesday. Authorities planned an afternoon news conference.
One of his dorm mates said he recalled friendly but distant interactions with James Oliver Seevakumaran, while several others approached by a reporter said they didn't recall seeing or interacting with him. A roommate interviewed by a campus media outlet said Seevakumaran was an introvert who never had visitors.
On Tuesday, police tape and squad cars were gone outside the dormitory where police say the 30-year-old Seevakumaran had armed himself early Monday with two guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a backpack filled with explosives. They said he planned to attack other students as they fled the seven-story dorm where he had pulled a fire alarm to cause the evacuation.
Seevakumaran's plans were thrown off by campus police officers' quick response to the fire alarm and a 911 call from his roommate, who hid after Seevakumaran pointed a gun at him, UCF Police Chief Richard Beary said.
Arabo "BK" Babakhani, who identified himself as the roommate who called 911, told student publication Knightly News that he slammed the door on his roommate after seeing the gun and hid behind furniture.
Babakhani said Seevakumaran avoided eye contact, never had visitors to the dorm and never was seen talking to anyone on a cell phone.
"Instead of walking by me, sometimes he'll walk around me," the roommate said in an interview posted on the Knightly News website. "The only time he made solid eye contact with me is when he was pointing the gun at me."
Babakhani didn't immediately respond to messages left by The Associated Press.
Seevakumaran's family also said he was a loner who didn't have a history of violence in a brief statement released by authorities. AP reporters have also knocked on the doors of his mother and sister's homes, but no one answered.
Freshman mechanical engineer student Spencer Renfrow said when he would see Seevakumaran in the dorm's hallways and elevator, he would wave and Seevakumaran would wave back.
"Everything would seem fine," Renfrow said.
Some 500 students were evacuated from the dorm just after midnight Monday, and morning classes were canceled after police were called. In his room, investigators found four makeshift explosive devices in a backpack, a .45-caliber handgun, a .22-caliber tactical rifle, and a couple hundred rounds of ammunition, police said. They said he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Roommates told detectives that while Seevakumaran showed some anti-social tendencies, he had never expressed any violent behavior. The business major, who held a job at an on-campus sushi restaurant, had never been seen by university counselors and had no disciplinary problems with other students, said university spokesman Grant Heston.
Police shed no light on a motive, but Heston said that the school had been in the process of removing Seevakumaran from the dormitory because he hadn't enrolled for the current semester. He had attended the university from 2010 through the fall semester.
Detectives found notes and other writings that indicated Seevakumaran had carefully planned an attack and laid out a timeline of what he wanted to do.