A gunman opened fire early Thursday morning at Florida State University, which left three students wounded before police were able to intervene.
Shortly after midnight, a man approached Strozier Library at the heart of the Tallahasse, Florida campus and began to fire, injuring three. At 12:30 a.m., police responded while directing students and faculty to take shelter.
Emergency management and notification programs
When police confronted the gunman outside the entrance and ordered him to drop the weapon, he fired at university police officers, who returned shots and killed him.
Just after 4 a.m. the campus received an "all clear" announcement and hundreds of students that had been locked down were able to return to their homes. Final exams are approaching, so the building was especially crowded.
In a statement, FSU President John Thrasher assured campus residents that there was no continuing threat. Although classes were cancelled, the university was open Thursday.
Detectives examined the suspected gunman's body—face-down on the entry ramp—in the hours following the shooting, reported the Associated Press. Officials have revealed his identity as Myron May, an FSU alumnus who had no criminal record with the local authorities.
Responding to students of concern: Best practices for behavioral intervention teams
At a news conference Thursday morning, police said the investigation is ongoing, and they do not yet know a motive.
Campus emergency systems were effective
City law enforcement praised security near the library's entrance, which limit access to students and staff. The gunman left the library after he failed to get through the security barrier.
In addition, a campus-wide emergency alert system activated during the episode and worked well, says David Perry, FSU Police Department chief. One student told the Washington Post he received the advisory via phone, and stayed in touch with peers under lockdown in the library while police looked for the shooter.
Others bolted from the library when they heard shots. Freshman Allison Kope told the AP she was on the first floor when the gunman fired. "I ran right out the backdoor," she says, "it was shock. It was just instinct. You don't think about anything else, you just go" (Rosen, Washington Post, 11/20; Calamur, "The Two-Way," NPR, 11/20).
Next in Today's Briefing
Survey: Elite status does not guarantee student engagement