TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ The killing of a newlywed Florida State University athlete and the death of a University of Florida student who was playing Russian roulette have raised concerns about guns on campuses.
″This is not a good environment for guns. A lot of joking and playing around goes on in the fraternities and dormitories, and you never know when t’s going to get out of hand,″ said UF campus police Chief Everett Stevens.
Guns are prohibited on all campuses in the state, but the University of Florida stores guns for students in the police department’s property room and students must check them in and out. Fourteen students keep 19 guns, mostly for hunting and target shooting, Stevens said.
Guns on campus are not uncommon, said Joshua Weinstein, 21, editor of The Independent Florida Alligator, a student publication at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
″I have a handgun and rifle. I grew up in Miami and here, it is just like home. If someone breaks into my house, I’ll blow them away,″ Weinstein said.
″I know a lot of people on campus who carry guns,″ he said. ″You hear about it all the time.″
″Keeping guns out of the dormitories and the fraternities? It’s probably an impossible task,″ said Stevens, who wants guns banned from campuses by state law.
At Florida State University, football player Pablo Lopez, 21, was dead on arrival at Tallahassee Memorial Regional Medical Center after a shooting early Saturday. FSU spokeswoman Lisa Franson said he had been married just five days earlier.
Byron C. Johnson, 20, of Tallahasse, was jailed without bond on a first- degree murder charge in connection with Lopez’ death. FSU police said Johnson shot Lopez in the stomach with a 12-gauge shotgun after an argument.
Another FSU football player, Edward Clark, 20, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and discharging a weapon in a public place during the incident. Police said Clark, a linebacker from Miami, fired a gun into a crowd after Lopez was shot. No one else was injured.
In Gainesville, John Owens II, 20, died Sept. 5 during a game of Russian roulette at his fraternity house at the University of Florida.
Owens, a sophomore from Miami Springs, took his gun to campus and checked it at the police station on Sept. 20, 1985. He last took it out on May 2, 1985, and never checked it back in, according to the record.
In another incident, UF defensive tackle Tommy Duhart shot at his wife on campus on Aug. 8, according to police reports.