The Gainesville Police Department received a call that shots were fired behind the UF College of Veterinary Medicine Friday.
The call was made at 3:09 p.m., and informed police of a person shooting a firearm in the wooded area, according to a tweet by Gainesville Police.
UF Police Department spokesperson Captain Kristy Sasser said UPD received a call at approximately 3:15 p.m. from the Alachua County Combined Communication center that there were shots fired that could potentially be a person target practicing. Five UF Alerts were sent out via text and email.
The following descriptions were given of possible suspects in the alerts:
“Suspect is a white male, 5’9, blue eyes, short brown curly hair, pale skin wearing a grey shirt, khaki pants and possibly armed with a 9 mm.”
“Suspect is approximately 20 years of age, wearing a leather bracelet on right wrist.”
“Anytime we receive a call that there are shots heard so close to university property, it was actually near IFAS as well the vet school, we’re certainly going to take that very seriously,” Sasser said.
UPD responded quickly and set up a perimeter to block off the woodline where they believe the suspect was before beginning the search, Sasser said.
Minutes later, another alert was issued stating that this was not an active shooter, and that the suspect was practicing target shooting in the woods.
UPD collected multiple shell casings from the scene, and it was confirmed by Sasser that the suspect was shooting a 9 millimeter gun.
“We know at this point that it looks like the person was shooting into a tree, so there was no person ever threatened and no person has been injured in this incident,” Sasser said. “There’s no reason to believe this was an active shooter.”
A message from UPD Chief Linda Stump-Kurnick was shared on UF’s twitter following the incident. The tweet stated that GPD will handle the case due to the area being in its jurisdiction. Stump-Kurnick’s message ended with the following:
“We will continue to be vigilant and relay information to you as quickly as possible, because your safety is our No. 1 goal.”
Contact Samia Lagmis at Slagmis@alligator.org.
Alyssa Feliciano contributed to this report.
A University of Florida Police Department officer walks towards his vehicle Friday after searching a wooded area near the UF College of Veterinary Medicine for a suspect reportedly firing a gun at targets.
A University of Florida Police Department officer stands in front of a wooded area near the UF College of Veterinary Medicine where officers were searching for a suspect reportedly firing a gun at targets.
A University of Florida Police Department officer leaves the scene in a vehicle Friday while officers search a wooded area near the UF College of Veterinary Medicine for a suspect reportedly firing a gun at targets.