The gunman who opened fire on the campus of Florida State University about midnight Thursday, wounding three people before he was killed by police, was an alumnus who feared he was being targeted by the government, police said during an afternoon news conference.
Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo identified the gunman as Myron May, an FSU graduate who moved back to Florida about three weeks ago.
Investigators have recovered a journal and prerecorded videos in which May “expressed fears of being targeted, and he wanted to bring attention to this issue of being targeted,” DeLeo said. The chief described May as being “in a state of crisis.”
Armed with a .380-caliber handgun, May entered the Strozier Library with his pockets stuffed with ammunition about 12:25 a.m., police said. He shot and wounded an employee in the lobby area and struck two students before he was confronted by city and campus police officers outside the library.
Two of the victims remain hospitalized, DeLeo said.
More than 30 rounds were fired, DeLeo said, and May was killed minutes after he opened fire. It was not immediately clear whether May returned fire, DeLeo said.
Police in the community had little contact with May before the shooting, according to campus Police Chief David Perry.
Officers detained May in 2002 on suspicion of marijuana possession when he was a student, and Tallahassee police had no prior contact with him.
DeLeo said it remains unclear why May chose to attack the campus, but he had no current connections to Florida State University.
The Taunton Family Children’s Home in Wewahitchka, Fla., identified May earlier Thursday, describing him as an “accomplished attorney” studying for the state bar exam.
Several hundred students were inside Strozier, the university’s main 24-hour library, when the shooting started, police said.
The university issued an emergency alert to students saying there was a “dangerous situation” on the main campus and instructed them to seek shelter immediately.
The gunfire spread panic throughout the campus as students heard the shots or quickly learned of the deadly clash through text messages or social media.