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Univ. Central Florida gunman has local ties


The family of the former University of Central Florida student who took his own life Monday after threatening to shoot UCF students issued a statement Tuesday night about the man.

“The family of James Oliver Seevakumaran states that James was a loner and did not have a history of violence. The family does not wish to make any further comments to the media, and they are requesting privacy during this difficult time,” according to Greene County sheriff’s Maj. Eric Spicer, whose office worked with the family to release the statement Tuesday evening.

The sheriff’s office had no additional information about Seevakumaran’s family and referred questions to the UCF Police Department.

Tuesday night, Grant Heston, associate vice president for communications and public affairs at UCF, said the man’s mother and father are in Florida.

According to Heston, Seevakumaran enrolled at the university in Orlando in fall 2010 and there were no student conduct issues, no counseling issues that he is aware of. Seevakumaran was a student in good standing last fall, Heston said.

“The investigation is just beginning. We’re looking for anything and everything that can shed light on what took place and why,” Heston said.

Tuesday afternoon, CBSNews.com reported that the roommate who called police for help after Seevakumaran pulled a gun on him said Seevakumaran was anti-social, but had no idea he could potentially be dangerous.

Seevakumaran, 30, killed himself before authorities got to him at his dorm room in Tower 1 on Monday, where they found guns, explosives and a note that detailed a campus shooting.

Arabo Babakhani, a man identifying himself as Seevakumaran’s roommate, told a CBS News correspondent about how he came face-to-face with the gunman and ran to call 911.

“If you said anything to him or walked by him or anything, he would just ignore you,” Babakhani said. “He would stare off into the distance and pretend like you never existed. He only made eye contact with me when he pulled the gun on me.”

Before he killed himself, Seevakumaran had pulled the fire alarm - a strategy, police said, to get students all in one place. Babakhani said a third student who lived with them was out of town in Baltimore, while the fourth evacuated the building as soon as he heard the fire alarm.

In an phone interview with the student paper, the Knightly News, Babakhani explained how he went into the kitchen because he thought the fire alarm was triggered by something burning. As soon as he saw the gun, he ran into his room, crouching in front of a chest of drawers.

Before the incident, however, Babakhani said he had no reason to suspect James was violent. He never closed his door.

But he said there was always something weird about him.

“For Thanksgiving … he didn’t invite anyone,” Babakhani told the paper. “He just cooked a whole Thanksgiving meal for himself. He’s got no friends, I don’t even know if he’s got any family. I’ve never heard him on a cell phone before.”

Seevakumaran was a business major at the school. He wasn’t enrolled for spring semester.



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