Football player suspended after firing gun on campus
A USF football player was taken into custody early Sunday morning after police say he fired multiple gunshots outside the Holly D residence hall.
Benjamin Knox, a redshirt freshman offensive lineman, was charged with discharging or possessing a firearm and shooting into an occupied dwelling, USF assistant police chief Chris Daniel said.
No one was injured in the incident and Knox, 21, has been suspended indefinitely from all program activities, a team spokesperson said in a statement.
“We are in the process of gathering more information on the matter and are working with the proper authorities,” the statement said. “This type of behavior is not consistent with the values of our institution and will not be tolerated.”
Daniel said police were dispatched to Crescent Hill parking garage around 4 a.m. after an officer in the Greek Village heard gunshots from the interior of campus. A witness also reported hearing shots fired and screeching tires from the garage afterward.
When officers arrived to the scene, Daniel said they found no individuals, but spotted a parked vehicle, after checking the garage floor by floor, which contained an open gun case and a box of ammunition visible on the seat. Several spent shell casings were also located outside the garage.
Police traced the vehicle back to Knox and arrested him inside his dorm room, where they also located a 45-caliber handgun — the same caliber that was reportedly used in the shooting. He was transported to Hillsborough County jail for booking, where he is being held on $15,000 bail.
Daniel said Knox declined to comment to police or provide a motive for the shooting, which is believed to have caused two large holes on the exterior of the building.
“We are doing some further investigation into the matter,” Daniel said. “No motive provided, no injuries — it looks to us like the shots were just random. They don’t seem to be well-intended shots.”
Knox, a former four-star recruit out of Deland, has played in all five games for USF this season.