By Leigh Barber
The students studying in Florida State University’s Strozier Library felt a fear many people will never have to experience during their lifetimes. At around 1 a.m., their late-night work was disrupted when a shooter opened fire in the lobby of Strozier. FSU Police Chief David Perry reported that there were between 300 and 400 students in the library at the time the gunman entered. Three students were injured and the only fatality was the shooter, Myron May, who was shot by FSU Police.
One victim was treated at the scene, and two more, one in good condition and one in critical condition, were taken to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital for treatment. May, an FSU alum, never made it past the front lobby and after exiting was confronted by 50 to 70 FSU and Tallahassee police officers. After shooting an officer, May was shot and killed by police when he refused to surrender outside the library.
Students gathered on Landis Green the morning after the shooting to show support for the victims and to display unity as a student body.
“The morning after the shooting I went out to Landis Green and people slowly started to gather there and there was just an eerie feeling,” FSU freshman Shannon Drummond said. “I don’t know how else to describe it except eerie, and then uncomfortable, maybe because it was all a bit surreal.”
Social media sites overflowed with support from people all over the country, sending thoughts and prayers to Florida State. As one of the largest schools in the state, most Floridians know someone who currently attends or has attended the school, causing this incident to hit home for many.
“As a former student of FSU, I still have a lot of friends who go there and who were actually in the library during the shooting, so it’s been really hard to hear that something so horrible could happen at a place where I used to study and where my friends still study,” first-year transfer student Shoshana Davidson said.
According to police reports, May was struggling psychologically and emotionally. Tallahassee Police chief Michael DeLeo stated that May was in a state of personal crisis. After examining his cell phone records and interviewing between 20 and 25 primary witnesses, investigators have found that May acted alone and that there is no ongoing threat to campus.
Governor Rick Scott and FSU President John Thrasher both gave short messages at a press conference the morning after the shooting, praising the speedy response by the FSU and Tallahassee Police Departments and encouraging FSU students and faculty to stay strong during this emotionally trying time.