A shooting incident at Florida State University’s recently constructed Greek Park has left one dead, one wounded and a third under arrest, KnightNews.com has learned.

The FSU student who lost her life in the apparent accidental shooting, Ashley Cowie, was a member of Chi Omega sorority and a former homecoming queen of her high school, St. Country Day School near Jacksonville, according to the Florida Times-Union. She was 21.

Evan Wilhelm faces Manslaughter Charge
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Many UCF students grew up in the Jacksonville area and call it home. UCF freshman Sam Whitman shared why the Knights who knew Cowie will miss her.

“I went to high school with Ashley she was a beautiful girl who had a smile and a laugh the could brighten up anyone’s day,” Whitman said. “Her sense of humor and good attitude were contagious and unique.”

According to an FSU press release, police were called to the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house at 1:16 a.m. Sunday to respond to an accidental shooting report. The fraternity house is located in Heritage Grove, a subdivision of FSU affiliated Greek housing off campus.

Much like how UCF police patrol the off campus Pegasus Landing apartments, FSU police are contracted to patrol the Heritage Grove Greek Housing. When FSU police arrived, they secured the area and determined there was no further threat to the campus community, according to the release.

FSU police quickly identified the shooter as Evan Wilhelm, according to the release, posted by WCTV. Wilhelm, a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, was in his fraternity house apartment allegedly showing off his new rifle accessories to his friends when the release stated it accidentally went off.

That’s when Ashley Cowie, 21, was fatally shot in the chest and Keith Savino was struck in the wrist, according to the release. Savino’s injuries are not life-threatening.

Cowie was a sophomore from the Jacksonville suburb of Orange Park and majoring in interior design. Savino, also 21, is a junior from Tampa. He’s majoring in risk management/insurance, and was treated for his wound at a Tallahassee hospital.

The owner of the rifle, Wilhelm, 20, was not injured when the shots rang out. Even though the shooting was reported as accidental, Wilhelm was arrested early Sunday and booked into the Leon County Jail on manslaughter charges, the release stated.

The investigation is ongoing, and the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper is now reporting Wilhelm may have been drinking earlier in the day, before the shooting.

FSU Dean of Students Jeanine Ward-Roof expressed grief for the loss, and pledged to make counseling services available to those who need it.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy, and our hearts and prayers are with the students’ families at this terrible time,” Ward-Roof said in the release. “We strive throughout the year to educate students on how to protect themselves and others, and we are heartsick when incidents such as this occur.”

Firearms are not allowed on public university campuses in Florida. But because the fraternities’ buildings at Heritage Grove are private properties, there was no law against having a weapon there.

According to the FSU release, university officials pledged to review the situation and to continue to urge students to be mindful of rules and crime prevention information designed to protect them and their fellow students.

38 COMMENTS

  1. I was incarcerated in the Leon County Jail until recently, and I was in the same pod as Wilhelm. What happened was tragic, but Evan is not the horrible murderer you all make him out to be. He’s an average college kid with a kind heart and a good sense of humor, gets along with everyone. What happened was a horrible accident, and I can tell you first hand that Evan is going through hell because of all this, so the hateful remarks from all of you are overkill. Leave the poor kid alone, I considered him a good friend over the past 5 months in the LCJ.

  2. the gun was dropped, the other kids hand was around her shoulder, she got hit in the neck, he got hit in the wrist. its not “accidental”.. its accidental. i agree. its a terrible thing and the kid should be punished. but dont turn it into some bullshit about him pointing a gun at her and shooting her

  3. I’m in communications and I proofread articles on a daily basis….What I think is hilarious is how you people can read an article with content such as this one and the first comment made is about the grammar. Give me a break! Did the writer ask you to proofread it? NO! I had to go back and read the article again to actually find the errors, because the first time I wasn’t focusing on proofreading. Grow up and learn to get a filter for your thoughts. Some things just shouldn’t be said or typed when they are as trivial as grammar issues in a situation as serious as a young girl’s death.

  4. I am apalled at the lack of sensivity of thos whe view this as a tragic “accidently” shooting. You pointed a gun at a beautiful innocent girls heart and pulled the trigger and murdered her. I don’t give a damn what drugs or alcohol you consumed you need to to to jail for the maximum the law will allow. You still have a life Ashley was ripped off by your ignorant behavior. You have devastated countless people including their family. I hope you are miserable every day for the rest of your life.

  5. One more thing..He deserves prison time! Im still in shock. How the hell do you pull the trigger when it is aimed at your girlfriends chest??? The gun should have never been loaded and even if it wasnt why would you pull the trigger?? dumb rich boy needs to go to state prison and get his ass beat for 20 years

  6. Sounds like a little rich boy who has never handled guns before and used mommy and daddy’s money to buy him one. I do not care how drunk somebody is, but anyone who was raised around guns and hunts (which is the only reason guns should be taken out) would NEVER point a gun at another person, loaded or not. Dumb rich kids.

  7. You people disgust me. My daughter is a student at FSU, a member of Chi Omega, and Ashley was her friend. The shooter was her twin sisters boyfriend, this kid had no intention of hurting anyone. He made a huge mistake with deadly consequences, I am sure that at some time or another everyone has made a huge mistake. I know I have, fortunately for me and all of you our mistakes did not end a loved ones life. Please stop being so ignorant and realize that two families and countless lives have been forever changed by this kids bad judgment and by the grace of God it wasn’t you or your child. Who are you to judge?

  8. Oh…and Hunter…your a douche bag too.

    What was his hand doing? Was it a rape? I guess you dont know much about guns and how fast a rifle round travels especially at close range you moron.

  9. LOU…you are an idiot. 2 years??? This poor girls life is over bc he was drunk and high and pointing a NEW TOY at people…he should burn!

  10. Next Monday 1/17 will be 3 years since my beautiful son Morris was killed in an accidental shooting. same city. similar story. My heart goes out to Ashley’s family and the families of all involved. Their lives will never be the same. Why aren’t these kids required to take safety lessons before they get their hands on these weapons? It is too late for Morris and too late for Ashley but maybe not for others. Please sign the online petition for Safety Instruction Before Gun Ownership in Morris’ memory and spread the link far and wide: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/safety-instruction-before-gun-ownership

  11. Guns dont accidentlly go off, someone pulled the triger. Maybe he didnt mean to do it but the gun dint go off accidentally.

  12. A very tragic story. I know Evan Wilhelm will regret it the rest if his life. I think he should serve a year or two in jail and perform community service for several years.

  13. He should face at least 2 years in prison. I don’t care that it was an accident. When I was 9 years old I almost shot someone by accident. Luckily I missed. I would have regretted it the rest of my life. The gentleman I almost shot actually gave me a summer job 8 years later.

  14. This idiot deserved his 20 or more years in jail. A girl is dead because of his neglect and idiocy.

    he ignored every single rule of firearms handling and now someone has paid the price.

    And ‘Hunter’, you’re an idiot too. If you knew anything about guns you would know a rifle round within a room will more than penetrate a target traveling at over 3000fps and also penetrate anything that is behind it within the bullet’s trajectory.

  15. My heart breaks for the family of Ashley Cowie.
    What a horrible tragedy that no mother, no parent or sibling, should ever have to live through.

    God bless this family and help them to come through this. God help them to somehow, someday, again find peace in their hearts and the will to carry on.

  16. I knew Ashley Cowie personally, the innocent girl who was killed. This was an accident. The “shooter”, which was indeed accidental, was Ashley’s twin sister’s boyfriend. Be not mistaken, this was an accident. The fact that UCF students would complain over the mere details of this articles, make jokes over the fraternities involved, or argue over whether it was incidental makes me so sad in the Knights. Life and Death. These are the important issues at hand. Have some sympathy and compassion for the victims, the families, and the suspect.

  17. Accident?. Wtf How does someone get hit in the wrist with the same bullet that another got hit in the chest with.. Where was his hands?. On her chest?….

    Is this rape at gun point?. Guns don’t just go off for no reason..

    There is probably mroe to this.

    But god I hope I’m wrong.

  18. LET’S ALL FOCUS ON THE ISSUE AT HAND. CARELESSNESS CAN LEAD TO TRAGEDY! THIS INCIDENT MAKES ME THINK BACK ON MY FOUR YEARS IN COLLEGE…OFTEN TIMES COLLEGE STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN RISKY AND DANGEROUS BEHAVIOR, ALL IN THE NAME OF FUN. LETS FACE IT NOBODY ANTICIPATED WHAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT BUT IT COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED HAD THE YOUNG MAN WITH THE GUN THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT HE WAS DOING!!! VERY, VERY SAD!

  19. A 20 year old innocent girl was shot and killed Sunday morning. And you people want to focus on the imperfections of a simple publication. There’s a bigger picture here. Life and Death.

  20. This is a ucf newspaper, not a psychology classroom. You are wrong again. That’s an acceptable common usage of the phrase. And the fact that you knew the real term, but kept it secret, proves you must be out to get the writer by hiding that fact in the first place that this happens all the time.

    FROM WIKIPEDIA:

    In general use, the term ‘Freudian slip’ has been debased to refer to any accidental verbal slips of the tongue.[1]. Thus many examples are found in explanations and dictionaries which do not strictly fit the psychoanalytic definition.

    For example: She: ‘What would you like — bread and butter, or cake?’ He: ‘Bed and butter… Whoops!'[1]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freudian_slip

  21. FSUPD is not “contracted” to provide services there. The buildings at Heritage Grove are owned and managed by a private company, but the land is owned by FSU — thereby giving FSUPD jurisdiction.

  22. You are a joke. They broke this story faster than most professional media in town…. and you can only find one minute thing wrong with it. It is a simple Freudian slip (arrest vs rest vs wrist). Like that other person says, the NYT has a corrections page for a reason. Even the best editors in the world miss things. It happens. Especially in breaking news. The Orlando Sentinel is always correcting errors, and don’t even get me started on the Future when they had a major fact error on the lobbyist story. Get over yourself and go back to student government… You must just be angry because you can’t control this news source like the other one.

  23. Well at least they went back and corrected the spelling and other grammer mistakes. However, breaking stories quickly is no excuse for poor quality. Get it right the first time so you don’t look like a moron. If one were writing like this for a publication or journal article, it would be sent back. Journalists should write on a professional university level not as if they’re texting friends where poor grammar is acceptable now.

  24. It’s an unfortunate story and I bet they rushed to break it and inform the public. Most people don’t work on a Sunday which doesn’t excuse their spelling mistakes but I never saw a student newspaper break stories as quickly as they do. I’m sure its something their working on UCF puts out great journalists and its not like they’re messing up facts.

  25. Yes, this is a tragic event. My thoughts and prayers go out to this young woman’s family.

    However, this isn’t the first time that KnightNews has posted an article with poor grammar and misspelled words. If one is going to write for a university newspaper, he/she should write at better than a 5th grade level. It’s an embarrassment to UCF.

    The NY Times corrections page is usually for misinformation not misspellings. “Rest” for “Wrist”? Come on! That’s not even a typo. That’s just stupidity. The editors should examine their articles before they post them for all to see. I’m sorry that the story is about someone who died but it doesn’t give the author(s) more leeway to use poor grammar.

  26. Even the New York Times has a corrections page. You are a bunch of assholes to point that out when someone lost their life. Heartless son of a bitch.

  27. I was thinking the same thing. It’s not the first article to have poor grammar and misspellings. What are the editors doing?

    By the way, what is a rest? How do you get shot in the rest? Do you mean wrist? SMH

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