Cops: Metro Atlanta teen killed by police in Florida campus incident

Alhaji Sow was shot and killed by police on his Florida college campus Saturday, police said. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)
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Alhaji Sow was shot and killed by police on his Florida college campus Saturday, police said. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

A Clayton County teenager was shot and killed Friday by police on his Florida college campus, authorities said.

Melbourne police responded at 11 a.m. to the Florida Institute of Technology, where Alhaji M. Sow, 18, of Riverdale, had been seen wielding a knife in a threatening manner and “assaulting students,” according to police.

Police gave no indication of why Sow allegedly had the weapon. Officers, accompanied by campus security, went into a campus building where they’d been told Sow had entered.

“During the confrontation the male lunged at the police officer with the weapon resulting in the Melbourne police officer and FIT security officer both discharging their firearms striking the male,” Melbourne police said in an emailed statement. “Officers attempted life saving measures; however, the male succumbed to his injuries on scene.”

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the officer-involved shooting.

Sow was a sophomore studying aeronautical science, Florida Tech said. Prior to that, he’d attended Georgia Military College and North Clayton High, according to a LinkedIn page that appeared to belong to him.

Florida Tech President and CEO T. Dwayne McCay wrote in a communitywide message that counseling and support services are available for the campus community.

“Life is unpredictable. Unforeseeable situations occur. These are facts of our daily lives. Friday night’s campus incident where a student suspect died after reportedly threatening and hurting others is what we meet today,” McCay wrote.

“We are not defined by our losses, but I do believe we can be defined by how we meet them. We cannot stop bad things from happening in life, but we can control how we work together to persevere through them. We can look out for one another. We can find ways to be safer and more secure together. We can use the lessons of life’s trials and tribulations to become stronger — both as individuals and as a community,” he added.

Police said a five-year veteran officer was injured, but no details of the injury were released. School officials said on Facebook that there were no serious injuries other than Sow’s.

A relative of Sow’s declined to speak to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Saturday when reached by phone, other than to say he needed to mourn.

Sow’s uncle, Abu Koroma, spoke to Channel 2 Action News and said that Sow was “very, very respectable to the community and I met this guy since the day he was born, he’s a good friend.”