The University of South Florida Police sent out a community alert Monday evening saying that a male had been taken into custody about 1 p.m. after firing four or five gunshots into the wooded preserve on the southeast corner of the golf course.
No injuries occurred and no charges have been filed yet, the alert stated, though officers “recovered property from the individual that would confirm his involvement in the discharge of a firearm.”
The land is part of the 769 acres currently under scrutiny at the university. Monday was the deadline for developers to submit proposals to a request for information university administrators put out in April without consultation. The request garnered much backlash from students, faculty, staff and community members. Last week, the faculty senate voted in favor of passing a resolution that asked to preserve the land in perpetuity. The week before, protesters rallied to protect the area.
The wooded preserve is home to sites of indigenous cultural heritage — including burial grounds — as well more than 400 plant and animal species, some endangered.
The alert did not make any connection between the fired shots and the development deadline. University police stated that there was no current threat of harm to the university but that the investigation was ongoing and those with information should contact the USF Police Department at 813-974-2628.
This is a developing story.