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News Clips 03/22/2013
James Seevakumaran’s acquaintances speak out
Source: Central Florida Future, 03/21/13
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By Ajeeta Khanna
Editor’s note: Although the Central Florida Future usually avoids using anonymous sources, the editors felt that it was appropriate in this situation to use them to protect the identities and safety of those quoted. Both anonymous sources were interviewed by the writer in person and provided facts that supported their interactions with Seevakumaran.
Minutes after the UCF Police Department evacuated Tower I on Monday, leaving nearly 500 students displaced for the night, one student was left dead in the building.
That night, James Oliver Seevakumaran shot himself. But one question still hasn’t been answered: Who exactly was Seevakumaran?
The 30-year-old was a native of Huddersfield, a town located in West Yorkshire, England, according to his Facebook, his mother’s Facebook and the two sources who gave information.
As reported earlier, Seevakumaran was a business administration major before he was withdrawn from the university due to not paying tuition fees.
Someone who knew Seevakumaran had this comment to say about him:
“He just reminded me of the type of person who would shoot up a school.”
This source made this comment about Seevakumaran to a mutual friend in the heat of the moment, casually.
“I was angry at him,” the acquaintance said. “He was ignoring me about something … I’m not one to bad mouth someone, but he just made me feel so frustrated sometimes.”
Seevakumaran became unemployed during the summer of 2012; Kyoto Sushi and Grill’s management didn’t terminate his employment. Instead, he quit the job himself , according to the source.
“He was antisocial, he [was] clearly not a people person and rarely acknowledged others when they acknowledged him,” the source said.
When asked about the last time someone close to him saw Seevakumaran, the source said, “I saw him that Sunday sitting alone at the Mad Hatter, 10:15 p.m.”
But the two didn’t acknowledge each other’s presence.
In fact, this person had not been exposed to the publicly released timeline Seevakumaran wrote before he killed himself.
This person was interviewed without previous knowledge regarding an exact timeline.
The source also said “nobody liked him” and then described Seevakumaran as a “creep,” because he would “constantly hit on women” but was unsuccessful in establishing a relationship with most of them.
Another source, who is a 24-year-old information and technology major enrolled at UCF, said he reached out to Seevakumaran at the Dungeon Lounge in March 2012. He said he wished to remain anonymous as he didn’t want to be linked with Seevakumaran’s name.
He, similar to the mentioned source, spotted Seevakumaran sitting alone at the bar and introduced himself to Seevakumaran.
Although the two never became too close, he thought of Seevakumaran to be “just like any other socially awkward guy.”
The 24-year-old described his friendship with Seevakumaran as a “wingman-like relationship.”
His acquaintance also said Seevakumaran was “very forward” in his approach of flirting with women.
“I knew he was pretty unhappy,” the 24-year-old said. “He was trying to improve his life, from what I know, at least with girls.”
He said that Seevakumaran previously discussed drinking alcoholic beverages in order to interact with women.
“It made him feel confident,” the source said. “But I encouraged him not to [drink]. He didn’t have an abundance of it the one night we hung out.”
That one night was on March 8, 2012.
“He had been drinking,” he said. “But I thought he was OK to drive.”
Seevakumaran then told his wingman the following day about a traffic violation he received.
The wingman recalls Seevakumaran saying that he was pulled over, was almost arrested and received a $300 ticket.
According to Orange County public records, Seevakumaran was indeed pulled over on March 9, 2012, but as his wingman stated, not for driving under the influence. The ticket cost him $265.99.
“I don’t think he has a car now,” he said. “I kind of remember he said he lost his car because he couldn’t pay for it or something.”
His wingman lost touch with him at one point because he said he felt overwhelmed by Seevakumaran’s negative outlook on life.
The shooting, however, seemed “incongruent” with what his friend knew about Seevakumaran.
Previous reports have stated Seevakumaran to be a “loner.”
Another question asked to both sources was whether Seevakumaran was close to his family or not.
The first source said Seevakumaran seemed disconnected with his family.
“I don’t think he has ever met his dad,” the first source said. “He also never left [UCF] for breaks, for winter or summer.”
“He never mentioned anything about his family, but I don’t think he knew much about his dad,” the 24-year-old, second source, said.
What appears to be Seevakumaran’s Facebook page shows that his mother Glennis C. DuBose tried contacting him on his wall on Monday at 12:23 p.m.
His family released a statement to the media saying that Seevakumaran was a loner with no history of violence. The family has asked for privacy.
Instead, his wingman emailed a eulogy about Seevakumaran to the Central Florida Future:
“I may have only hung out with James a handful of times, but he never expressed or showed anything that led me to believe he would plan on doing something to himself, or others. I can’t help but feel saddened by the whole situation.
That I could have been that friend who may have saved his life or gotten him the professional help needed to do so. That I could have turned him around if only I had reached out one more time to see why he had become so distant. I thought nothing of it, as going out often entails you to meet many, and make lasting connections with few. James may have had some odd qualities about him, but he was no different than any other college guy who was trying to make friends and meet girls.”