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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Humans vs. Zombies back on after scare

After University Police squad cars pulled up to Tigert Hall Wednesday morning, Humans vs. Zombies was canceled for the rest of the day.

Around 9:50 a.m., a UF employee called from the administration building, having spotted a student carrying a Nerf gun and mistaken it for a firearm.

When officers arrived, they found the student, saw the toy gun and realized what had happened.

The student’s name has been withheld by the club, and no arrest was made.

Around 10 a.m., Jesse Schmitt, the Gators Humans vs. Zombies president, got a call from UPD Lt. William Gainey.

No more games.

Schmitt originally had an agreement with UPD in which the club members would be allowed to play the game as long as they kept it outside.

After a call to the Center for Student Activities and Involvement, Schmitt called Gainey again. The two made a compromise where students would be able to continue the game today as long as Schmitt held a meeting with the club’s 400 members to reiterate the outside-only rule.

Schmitt held the meeting in Marston Library later that day. The game is back on until its original end time on Sunday afternoon.

Still, Schmitt said, he doesn’t see how the mistake was made in the first place.

“There’s no way to mistake this for a real weapon,” he said.

The toy gun, a Nite Finder model from Nerf, has a clear plastic body with an orange muzzle and trigger. It is the brand’s second smallest model.

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Jeff Holcomb, UPD spokesman, said it’s best not to show them at all.

He recounted an emergency call two years ago where UPD officers were dispatched to the Reitz Union to find a student carrying what turned out to be a water gun.

“Just understand that people are aware and highly sensitive to firearms,” he said, “and it’s best not to take them inside of buildings.”

UF spokesman Steve Orlando, who works in Tigert Hall, said there were no traces of panic during the whole fiasco.

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