Three men with a pellet gun shaped like an AR-15 were detained at Florida Gulf Coast University early Monday morning after students and staff received a text warning them of a man with a weapon reported on campus.
FGCU police say there is no threat, but those three men could face serious consequences.
According to FGCU’s student code of conduct, having a weapon on campus—including AirSoft guns, BB guns, and pellet guns—is prohibited. Those violating this rule may be subject to arrest and prosecution.
The first text alert from FGCU went out at 12:40 a.m., warning of an anonymous report that came into university police regarding a possible man seen at Eagle Hall with a firearm. Police were said to be canvassing the area.
Officers followed muddy footprints into Eagle Hall, proceeding to the dorm where the students live. When officers got to the dorm, the men officers were looking for were playing video games.
The police report says the trio was on a nature trail with the guns while wearing camouflage and orange construction vests.
Then students and staff received three more messages updating them on officers detaining three men in Eagle Hall for having a pellet gun shaped like an AR-15 and assuring there was no threat to the university.
The guns are not AR-15s, but one is an Orbeez AR-15-style gun shooting gel bullets. The other is a Crossman pellet rifle.
“Pellet gun or not, it looks like an AR-15. You know, you’d almost expect them to be an AR-15,” Anthony Rowan, an FGCU student, said.
“I know some people that live in that building. So I was obviously a little alarmed. I texted them just to make sure everything was okay,” William Rombach, an FGCU student, said.
Police said they didn’t find any damage in Eagle Hall, but the police report said officers saw a whiteboard with profanity saying whoever snitched “Ruined our lives.”
Police took away both of the guns from the students.