USF building evacuated after gunman is spotted; police charge man

The Marshall Center on the USF campus in Tampa. [Times]
The Marshall Center on the USF campus in Tampa. [Times]
Published March 1 2018
Updated March 1 2018

TAMPA — University of South Florida police said a man's gun was confiscated Thursday after he carried it onto campus.

Paul Palacios, 52, had a concealed gun while attending a conference at the College of Nursing area, police said. He had a valid concealed weapons license, police said. Guns can't be carried on campus and are only permitted in vehicles.

UPDATE: Man with gun says USF police "overreacted."

"It is a violation of Florida Statutes to carry a concealed weapon on a college campus. You can legally carry it in your vehicle but you cannot carry it on your person," said Audrey Clarke, a spokesperson with USF police.

Police took the gun and charged Palacios with a violation of his concealed weapons permit, a second degree misdemeanor. He was released with a notice to appear, police said.

He declined to comment when reached by a news reporter.

The school texted an alert at 12:41 p.m. urging people to stay clear of the College of Nursing area.

Police said they evacuated the building, "made contact" with Palacios and reopened the building.

Staff writer Jonathan Capriel contributed to this report.