‘It’s so scary’: University of Tampa students react to student’s death
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A University of Tampa student died after getting into the wrong car early Saturday morning. The Tampa Police Department said the man was shot by the driver, who feared for his life.
“It’s so scary and horrible what happened,” said rookie Erika Roberti. “It’s so bad.”
UT students share their condolences with the student’s family.
“I was just like, ‘This is terrible.’ How can this happen to anyone?” Roberti asks. “It’s supposed to be a safe school.
Tampa police said the student went out with friends on South Howard Avenue and was taking an Uber home on West Arch Street — about a block west of Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. According to officials, after getting out of his Uber, the student tried to force his way into another man’s vehicle parked nearby. The driver shot the student in the chest, saying he feared for his life.
“It feels like something that would never happen,” said rookie Emily Ollendorff. “Especially in this kind of town.”
The student died at the scene, but the situation still confuses many students.
“It was very shocking to hear and a bit confusing,” Ollendorff said. “We obviously don’t know all the details about that.”
In a campus-wide email, the University of Tampa said in part, “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of the student, and to all those affected by this incident. The University appreciates all members of the community and mourns this tragic loss.
The tragedy has caused some students to warn others to be careful.
“He got into the wrong car and it cost him his life,” said Andrew York.
The shooter remained at the scene and is cooperating with detectives – any potential charges would be decided by the state’s attorney’s office.
UT also said in its email that any student in crisis over the weekend can contact Campus Safety at (813) 257-7777 for assistance. The University Orientation Center is open to students on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.