MELBOURNE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating after officers shot and killed an armed man on the campus of the Florida Institute of Technology.
Melbourne police and security at the school responded to a report of an armed man "assaulting students" just before 11 p.m. on campus.
Students were immediately sent an advisory to shelter in place from campus security.
Police say they confronted the suspect who was inside a campus building.
Investigators say the man refused to cooperate with their commands and lunged at officers with a weapon.
A Melbourne police officer and an FIT security guard both fired in response, striking the suspect who died at the scene. He has been identified as Alhaji M. Sow, 18. Police say Sow is a current FIT student from Riverdale, Georgia.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now investigating the case. FIT and authorities say this was an isolated incident and there is no longer a threat to anyone on campus.
One officer reportedly sustained an injury during the confrontation with the suspect.
Video shared with FOX 35 shows blood on the ground and wall of the second floor of the building.
Florida Tech says no other students were seriously hurt, but FOX 35 is waiting to learn the extent of any other injuries.
Several students say they heard shots when they took cover inside their dorms.
"We got a text from a group chat that said, ‘Hey, I think I just heard gunshots. We should secure in place,'" said Freshman Jillian Earley. "It was pretty nuts to say the least. You’re watching YouTube videos with friends on a Friday night and then – bam! – you have to go hide in your room."
Many are thankful they’re safe.
"The guy was only two floors below us the whole time. If no one had stopped him, he could have come up to my floor and no one was out there," Earley said.
On Saturday, FIT President & CEO T. Dwayne McCay, Ph.D. sent out the following statement:
Dear Florida Tech community,
Life is unpredictable. Unforeseeable situations occur. These are facts of our daily lives. Friday night’s campus incident where a student suspect died after reportedly threatening and hurting others is what we meet today.
We are not defined by our losses, but I do believe we can be defined by how we meet them. We cannot stop bad things from happening in life, but we can control how we work together to persevere through them. We can look out for one another. We can find ways to be safer and more secure together. We can use the lessons of life’s trials and tribulations to become stronger—both as individuals and as a community.
My heart goes out to everyone in pain. I mourn any loss of life, while I also remain steadfastly thankful for the men and women who invest their lives in protecting us. The safest university campuses are the ones where students, staff, faculty and others look out for one another. We do that at Florida Tech.
I want every member of this university community to know that we will get through this, together. Counseling and support services will continue to be available for the entire campus community in the coming days. We will learn from this, together. And we will be the stronger for it.
Stay with Fox 35 for the latest developments in the investigation, including the suspect's identity.
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