As four black Florida A&M University students waited outside for a friend to let them into his apartment building for a party, a white man confronted them—and ultimately pulled a gun on them in an incident Tallahassee police and the university are now investigating. Video of a portion of the Saturday night incident went viral after one of the students, Isaiah Butterfield, posted it on Twitter; Butterfield tells BuzzFeed News that before he started filming, the white man in the video walked past him and his friends and through the building's entrance. "Then he turned and he said, ‘You aren’t getting in here if you don't have a key,'" Butterfield says. "We were shook because we hadn’t said anything to him." He says the man then came back outside and started harassing the group, at which point another white person walked up and started defending the black students. Butterfield then started filming.
The white bystander, who had a key to the building, let the group inside; the first white man then insisted they not get on the elevator with him and asked repeatedly whether they had a key to the building. As the group attempted to enter the elevator, the man pulled out a gun. "He made sure we saw that he had a gun so we didn't get in the elevator," says Butterfield, who notes that the group had earlier questioned whether the man actually lived in the building, since it is student housing and he looked older than most residents. (At one point in the video, the man can be heard saying, "Where am I going? I am going upstairs to get laid.") The students, who were ultimately let into the building by their friend, reported the incident to police the following day. Building management has since released a statement saying the man in the video is not a resident. Social media users identified him, and his employer announced he has been fired from his position as general manager of a nearby hotel. (Read more racism stories.)