A normal exam-week afternoon turned to tragedy on the University of Florida’s campus Tuesday, as a man went on a shoe flinging rampage outside the Reitz Union.
That man is now in custody and has been identified as Gator’s redshirt junior Marco Wilson. The event left a campus stunned and in mourning – unable to believe that such a tragic event could occur in a space so many call home.
“The guy stared for a bit and just ran at people.” explained sophomore Tom Richards. “There wasn’t a certain person he was going after.”
“He yelled ‘Flag this b*tch! Flag this!’ and started yanking shoes off people. He threw them, some made it onto the roof. The fortunate ones landed on the grass… thank God that grass was there. Concrete scuffs don’t look good on shoes.”
In a brief press conference Wednesday the Florida Department of Law Enforcement explained that there are currently no known motives for the attack.
“This senseless act of footwear violence does not appear to be motivated by brandism or any type of logo supremacy. Mr. Wilson targeted those shoes indiscriminately whether they happened to be Yeezys or bland worn-out New Balances. All colors and sizes too. A flip-flop was among the victims.”
UF’s leaders wasted no time condemning the attack – some calling for mourning while others pleaded for policy changes that they believe could have prevented the attack.
In a letter to the UF community, University President Dr. Fuchs wrote that “Now is a time for mourning and healing. But tomorrow will come with questions we must ask, and among them a discussion about common sense shoe control. Policies like mandatory fastener types and lacing torque will come up and I believe our UF family can be thoughtful about them.”
Many answers are surely to come as the investigation continues in the days and weeks ahead.