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College student from metro Atlanta shot and killed by officers at Florida school

Police in the city of Melbourne identified the student as Alhaji Sow, a Riverdale native who went the Florida Institute of Technology.

MELBOURNE, Fla. — An 18-year-old college student from metro Atlanta was shot and killed by police at a school in Florida on Friday night, authorities there reported.

Police in the city of Melbourne said Alhaji Sow, whom they said was from Riverdale, was confronted by officers and campus security at the Florida Institute of Technology after being reported as "armed with a knife and assaulting students." 

The department's release later described him as armed with an unspecified "edged weapon." Neither the school nor police detailed any injuries to other students in any alleged assault. 

The Florida Institute of Technology said in a Facebook post that Sow was a sophomore studying aeronautical science. The school's president, T. Dwayne McCay, said his "heart goes out to everyone in pain."

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The Melbourne Police Department said its officers and school security found the student "armed with an edged weapon" and confronted him, before he allegedly "lunged at the police officer with the weapon" resulting in both the officers and campus security firing at him.

"Officers attempted life saving measures; however, the male succumbed to his injuries on scene," the department said.

The officer was described as a 5-year veteran of the Melbourne department who sustained an unspecified injury in the incident. Police did not describe the severity of that injury.

The school said it is "actively arranging support services for students or other members of the university community who may require it."

The school's president, McCay, issued a public letter on Saturday to students and the community. 

"We cannot stop bad things from happening, but we can control how we work together to persevere through them," the letter said in part. 

It thanked "the men and women who invest their lives in protecting us."

A Message from the President: Dear Florida Tech community, Life is unpredictable. Unforeseeable situations occur....

Posted by Florida Institute of Technology on Saturday, December 4, 2021

In a continuing effort to keep you informed, please find below the latest news release from Melbourne Police concerning...

Posted by Florida Institute of Technology on Saturday, December 4, 2021