Update 2:21 p.m.:
The man who died by suicide this morning on the University of Connecticut Avery Point campus was a Poquonnock Bridge firefighter and owner of a fitness center in Groton who had raised thousands of dollars for various causes in the community.
Tim Devine, 30, a firefighter with Poquonnock Bridge for four years and owner of CrossFit Groton, died after a standoff with negotiators on the shoreline. A building on the campus was locked down overnight.
Todd M. Paige, chief of the Poquonnock Bridge Department, said in a prepared statement:
“Firefighter Devine was a dedicated firefighter with an exemplary record who took great pride in serving the community. He was employed by the department for the past 4 years.
“The Poquonnock Bridge Fire Department is deeply saddened by the sudden loss and is extending their support to his family at this extremely difficult time.”
A firefighter at the station said firefighters are shocked and trying to cope with the loss.
CrossFit Groton had a sign posted on the door saying the business was closed until further notice.
“Tim was one of the most positive people I’ve ever met in my entire life,” said Jason Combs, a client and a trainer at the gym. “He changed so many lives for the better, through his gym and with him giving back to the community. And the world is shortchanged now that he is not here.”
Combs said Devine ran races to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior program and raised more than $3,000 for St. Jude’s Hospital in June with a fundraiser at his gym. Just last Sunday, he raised more than $2,000 for the organization “Autism Speaks."
“And that’s just a sample of what he did,” Combs said. “On top of all the stuff he did at the gym, making people feel good about themselves, he was a firefighter. You can’t say enough about Tim Devine. The only person I’ve ever looked up to like him was my own dad.”
During an interview in January 2011, Devine said he became certified in the Crossfit training program in September of that year.
During the interview about his involvement with CrossFit last year, he said he was moved to do something health-related for the station following the death of firefighter Todd Williamson to cancer.
Devine said at the time: "All our guys want to stay in shape. So if someone comes to me and says he wants to lose some weight, we work out a training program that also helps with the department's needs and firefighting skills — strength, agility, stamina. That way we both get what we want."
Devine was a volunteer in Mystic for five years before joining Poquonnock Bridge. His father and grandfather also were firefighters.
The following post and previous posts were written by Corey Fyke:
12:25 p.m.: The gunman who committed suicide on the University of Connecticut Avery Point campus Tuesday morning was not a student, but a man who lives in the area who was despondent, a state police spokesman said.
Lt. J. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the Connecticut State Police, said local police departments notified the state that a man was despondent, suicidal and armed at about 5 p.m.
State police found his car on the campus at about 10 a.m., and shortly after found the man on the rocks near the water line, about 500 yards from the campus police station, Vance said.
About 40 to 50 high school students were in a campus building at the time as part of a camp, and that building was locked down, Vance said.
“They were never in harm’s way,” he said.
The campus was not evacuated, he said. UConn-Avery Point does not have dorms and there was no one else on campus over night.
Vance said officers attempted to negotiate with the man but were unsuccessful and he took his own life.
“Negotiator did everything they could to persuade this individual to disarm himself and surrender to no avail,” Vance said.
He identity has not been released. He was about 30 years old and lives in the area, Vance said.
7:00 a.m.: According to the Associated Press a gunman committed suicide at UConn-Avery Point this morning. The identity of the man has not yet been released.
The campus, which was evacuated last night, is scheduled to reopen at 8 a.m.
2:11 a.m.: The University of Connecticut ordered an evacuation of its Avery Point campus late Monday night after police reported a man with a handgun was sighted, according to the university's website.
The "High Alert" order was issued at 11:35 p.m., and the area was cordoned off. The Connecticut State Police SWAT team was called in.
UConn-Avery Point, with an enrollment of about 800 full- and part-time students, does not have on-campus housing. It was unclear who was evacuated or who would have been on campus at the time of the incident.
Check back with Patch for more details as they become available.
Editor's note: This article by Groton Patch.