Police say Alhaji Sow, 18, a Florida Tech sophomore studying aeronautical science from Georgia, started assaulting students with an ‘edged knife’ between 10 and 11pm on Friday in Roberts Hall, a student dormitory.
When he was confronted by Melbourne police and Florida Tech Security around 11pm, he reportedly lunged at them, causing them to deploy their guns.
It is unknown how many bullets hit Sow. Officers performed ‘life-saving measures,’ but he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Fox 35.
Florida Tech said there were no serious injuries to students. The attacker’s motive is unknown at this time.
A Melbourne officer, who has been with the force for five years, was also injured in the debacle. The extent of his injuries is unclear at this moment.
Sow attacked students in Roberts Hall (pictured), a student dormitory, between 10 and 11pm. Police arrived to the scene around 11pm on Friday
At 12am – over an hour after police had arrived to campus – Florida Tech issued an emergency warning to students via Facebook to ‘shelter in place’ as police activity was still ongoing.
Around 2am, the school advised students to ‘avoid the Residence Quad area’ and to continue to ‘remain sheltered in place for now.’
It wasn’t until 3am that the school lifted the shelter in place warning, but continued to tell students to ‘avoid Roberts and Campbell Halls’ due to ‘police activity.’
The school called the attack an ‘isolated incident’ and ensured there was ‘no further threat to campus’ this morning.
One mother reported her son was ‘at his fraternity house’ when he got the emergency alerts.
The mother confirmed she was able to call her son while the incident was happening and learned the fraternity had ‘blocked the entrance with cars so there would be no access.’
Other students, however, are calling out the school for failing to notify them sooner about the attack, as the first alert posted to its Facebook page was over an hour after the attack was reported to police.
Melbourne Police confirmed the incident in a press release. They later updated it with Sow’s name
The school issued several alerts after the incident had been ongoing for at least an hour and advised students from 12 to 3am to ‘shelter in place’
It is unclear why some students received alerts and not others.
One student Andrea Chavez commented on the school’s Facebook: ‘This would have been useful almost 2 hours ago when this was taking place. As a student, this is outrageous that I find out that my safety is at risk through friends and classmates before I get any sort of notification from the school.’
Another student, Ryan Kitelinger agreed with Chavez that the failure to notify students in a timely manner made him ‘feel very unsafe.’ He confirmed to DailyMail.com that he was not on campus at the time of the incident.
A student who studies meteorology, Cassandra O’Conner said she was ‘appalled.’
‘We got regroup notices an hour later after the event. This is unacceptable beyond belief,’ she wrote. ‘Something should’ve been told. I found out from discord and driving home past there. I shouldn’t have to know like that. I’m honestly appalled.’
Another student Siboney Voss, who studies physics at the school and is from Missouri, said her family was notified ‘hundreds of miles away’ about security warnings, but she ‘got nothing.’
Several students are now criticizing the school for failing to notify them in a timely manner, calling the situation ‘outrageous’ and ‘appalling.’ The school using Regroup – a mass notification software – and it unclear why some students received notifications and others did not or when the first internal notification was released
The school uses Regroup – a mass notification software – according to their website, and students are automatically enrolled.
‘No action is needed to receive these alerts as all fit.edu emails are added automatically. This ensures that all students and employees will receive emergency alerts via university email.’
It does state students can disenroll from notifications.
The school is offering ‘arranging support services for students and other members of the university community who may require it.’
DailyMail.com has contacted Florida Tech for comment.
The Melbourne Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Unit and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are handling the case.