ORLANDO, Fla. -- A University of Central Florida student who pulled a dorm fire alarm in the middle of the night had a more sinister plan than sending students scurrying out into the night, authorities said.
Campus police said Monday that 30-year-old James Oliver Seevakumaran was armed with two guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a backpack filled with explosives and a plan to attack other students as they fled the seven-story dorm where he lived.
His plans were thrown off by campus police officers' quick response to the fire alarm and a 911 call from Seevakumaran's roommate who had holed himself in a bathroom after Seevakumaran pointed a gun at him.
Police officers found Seevakumaran dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in his dorm room. No other students were hurt.
"It could have been a very bad day here for everybody. All things considered, I think we were very blessed here at the University of Central Florida," said Richard Beary, University of Central Florida's police chief. "One shooting is bad enough. Multiples would have been unthinkable. So, anybody armed with this type of weapon and ammunition could have hurt a lot of people here, particularly in a crowded area as people were evacuating."
Fed likely won't let up: The U.S. economy is strengthening on the fuel of more job growth, rising home prices and solid retail sales. Just don't expect the Federal Reserve to let up in its drive to keep stimulating the economy with record-low interest rates. Not yet, anyway. That's the view of economists as Fed policymakers hold a two-day meeting that starts today. On Wednesday, the Fed will issue a policy statement and update its economic forecasts, and Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a news conference.
Highlighting bomber missions in Korea: The United States is flying nuclear-capable B-52 bombers on training missions over South Korea to highlight Washington's commitment to defend an ally amid rising tensions with North Korea, Pentagon officials said Monday. Pentagon press secretary George Little said one B-52 flew over South Korea on March 8, and the deputy defense secretary, Ashton Carter, said during a visit to Seoul that another bomber mission is scheduled for today. B-52 bombers are capable of launching nuclear-armed cruise missiles. Little said those participating in the Korean exercise are not armed with nuclear weapons.
Not ready for anthrax vaccine test: Don't look for testing of the anthrax vaccine to begin in children any time soon. Controversy arose last year as experts debated whether such studies should be done to learn how to treat children in case of a bioterror attack. But a presidential commission says the government would have to take multiple steps -- including more safety research in young adults -- before it would be ethical to consider tests in children.
Chrysler recalls Challengers for fire risk: Chrysler is telling owners of about 2,500 Dodge Challenger muscle cars with V-6 engines not to drive them because a short in a wiring circuit can set them on fire. Owners also are being told not to park the cars in a garage or near a structure until the problem can be fixed. The cars are from the 2013 model year and have V-6 engines. They were made during the eight weeks that ended Jan. 24. Chrysler wouldn't identify exactly where the short occurs, but said it's in a place that most owners would never see. Six fires were reported that damaged cars, but no one was hurt, the company said in a statement.
Begins creating agriculture archive: The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is collecting stories about agriculture innovations for a future exhibition on American business. The museum is launching a web portal today for people to share stories, photographs and materials about innovations that changed farming. The museum also is accepting items already donated by farmers in Illinois, Tennessee and California for a new agriculture archive. New artifacts include road signs about organic farming and decreasing soil erosion, a GPS tractor guidance system and dairy equipment showing the change to a computer-run system. The museum also holds Eli Whitney's cotton gin.
Dillinger car going on display: John Dillinger's getaway car will be on display at the Indianapolis International Airport for the next two years. The 1933 Essex Terraplane was used by the Depression-era bank robber and folk hero in March and April 1934 until he and his brother crashed the car in a farm field. The car is on loan from the Crime Museum in Washington, D.C., and will be displayed at the airport starting this month until March 2015. Dillinger was born in Indianapolis. He and his gang robbed several banks and police arsenals in Indiana during the 1930s.
Lego plans first China factory: Lego is building its first factory in China as part of a plan to move production closer to Asia, its fastest growing market. The Danish maker of colorful plastic building blocks for children said it's investing at least $130 million in the new plant. Construction will start in 2014 and it will be fully operational by 2017. The factory will be located in Jiaxing, 67 miles southwest of Shanghai, where Lego is planning an Asian distribution center.
WSJ denies bribery in China: The FBI has been investigating a purported whistleblower's allegations that the Wall Street Journal bureau in China bribed officials there to get information for news stories. Dow Jones, which publishes the Journal, became aware of the allegations last year and has concluded they are unfounded, a spokesman for Dow Jones said Monday. Details about the probe were first reported by the newspaper on Sunday. A law enforcement official said Monday that despite the news organization's own findings, the inquiry by the FBI's New York office was still open.
Burger King to offer a turkey burger: If you think a Whopper's too indulgent but are sick of chicken sandwiches, Burger King is offering a turkey burger for the first time. The Miami-based company is rolling out the new sandwich this week as part of its limited-time offers for spring, marking the latest fast-food effort to cater to health-conscious diners. Last week, McDonald's said it plans to offer a lower-calorie version of its Egg McMuffin made with egg whites. The Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain said the egg whites will be available for any other breakfast sandwich on its menu as well.