Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Trigger Man

The “finals week shooter” may have had his charges lowered from an attempted felony, but he still faces serious consequences.

Around 1 a.m. on April 30, Boca Raton Police were alerted to gunfire at the University Village Apartments. Reports state that a resident in the apartments held a small get-together to wind down from finals week.

Six months later, Omar Everton Graham, Jr., the 23-year-old man identified as the shooter, is again waiting for a trial that will potentially indict him on severe charges.

According to previous reports, a witness and his roommate attending the party at a friend’s apartment saw two men arguing over a red hat at 1:10 a.m. One of the men, later found to be Graham, pulled a gun.

Five minutes after the initial call to 911 was made, FAU police showed up to the scene, and thirty minutes after their arrival, they sounded the siren alert system to order students to stay in their apartments. The campus was kept on lockdown – no one was allowed leave their rooms – until sometime between noon and 12:30 p.m. the next day when police arrested Graham at Johnson & Wales University in North Miami.

Graham appeared in court on June 20, facing charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery, and possession of and discharging of a firearm on school property. The case was closed June 24, after the “State failed to file charges because of insufficient evidence.” According to Palm Beach County court employees at the time, this did not exclude the possibility that charges might be filed at a later date.

“He’s facing charges of shooting into a building, which is a second-degree felony and punishable with up to 15 years in prison, and violating a concealed weapons permit, which is a second-degree misdemeanor and punishable with up to 60 days [in prison],” says Timothy Beckwith, the assistant state attorney now assigned to the case.

The state had decided to change the previous – and more serious – charges of attempted felony, aggravated battery, and possession of and discharging a firearm on school property this past June.

“[The charges] weren’t dropped. Police can arrest someone for charges, and my office can change them to what we think is appropriate,” says Beckwith. “That’s what we decided.”

Reports state that Graham, during an argument with another partygoer, fired three shots inside another student’s apartment but missed, leaving what appeared to be a hole in the wall. The shots were fired shortly after 1 a.m. in Building 58 of the on-campus apartments. No one was injured.

Graham, at the time of the shooting, was a culinary arts student at Johnson & Wales University and had previously faced charges of marijuana possession, which were dropped.

As of press time, Graham’s lawyer, Richard Tendler, could not be reached for comment. The next hearing for current charges is scheduled for Oct. 15.

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