FSU shooting victims identified; Campus healing
Strozier Library reopens, game weekend activities resume
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Late Friday Tallahassee police released the names of the victims of Thursday morning's shootings inside the lobby of the Strozier Library at Florida State University:
- Farhan Ahmed, 21, a student from Apopka, remains hospitalized. He was last reported in critical condition.
- Nathan Scott, 30, (pictured below) an FSU employee who lives in Tallahassee and allowed his name to be disclosed Thursday has been discharged from Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare.
- Elijah Velez, 18, a student from Miramar, was grazed by a bullet. He was treated on scene and released.
The three men were hit by gunfire about 12:25 a.m. when the gunman, identified as 31-year-old Myron May, opened fire with a .380 semi-automatic handgun and police say reloaded at least once.
Investigators said 30 rounds were fired, but some of those came from two police officers who shot and killed May less than five minutes after the first report of gunfire inside the library.
The names of the victims and the initial Tallahassee Police Department incident report were provided at the end of a day when FSU students, faculty and staff tried to find some normalcy.
Students went back to classes, the library reopened, and with the Seminoles taking on Boston College at 3:30 Saturday afternoon, activity returned to a normal game weekend. That included the traditional lighting of the spear on the Unconquered statue outside Doak Campbell Stadium Friday night. Fans, students, and alumni showed up for the event to show their support.
As the spear was lit, speakers talked about the bond that football brings to the FSU campus. In the wake of the shooting, the hope for fans is that Saturday's game can help show how strong that bond is.
"I hope they honor the police force and the people that were right there on the scene," said FSU alumnus Russel Cotton. "The police force and campus police department did an unbelievable job to save a tragic situation."
Students said Thursday's events will take a while to move past, and they know that going about their normal activities will help that happen. That's why many showed up to the spear lighting and to a traditional downtown Tallahassee block party.
"It's unbelievable to see how the community came together to support one another in grieving this happening on our campus," Cotton said.
Fans at Friday night's block party said despite the recent tragedy, they aim to have fun as a team and community this weekend.
"I feel like it's very important because it shows that we're a community," said FSU fan Kacey Sheppard. "We're all fans and we love each other and we're united."
Earlier in the day dozens of students were waiting when the doors of the Strozier Library opened at 9 a.m., some saying they wanted to be there to support the victims of the shooting.
An increased police presence and new President John Thrasher were on hand make the students feel welcome.
"It's important for us to get back to normalcy," Thrasher said. "We recognize that this is a tragic event, but you can't let something like this bring down the university or bring down the students who want to use this incredible resource. We know they want to get back, but on the other hand, we know that they also care about their fellow students who were injured."
The first students to enter the library Friday expressed mixed feelings.
"It is just hard to come back and it's weird seeing everyone here," FSU student Taylor Krauss. "It was the place where I felt most safe on campus and now that is probably not going to be the case for a while."
Some students said going back into the library was surreal. One said he had chills walking past the desk where other students were shot. But all agreed that they have to move on.
"I really do believe that FSU, it as a whole, is trying to come across even stronger and better than we were previously, just trying to show that we are unconquered and we won't let this bring us down," student Mackenzie Masters said.
"It just hits you. It just kind of takes you back," student Julian Brooks added. "It's what I really like the most is how we have come together as a student body here and just the unity around campus."
FSU Police Chief David Perry said his officers will be more visible than normal to make sure people feel safe.
"You will see an officer, but not an overwhelming presence," Perry said. "We just want to make sure that the people are comfortable as they return to an environment that yesterday was a tragic crime scene."
There are still many unanswered questions in the minds of students, staff and parents as to why the shooting happened.
The gunman, identified as 31-year-old Myron May, shot three people in the lobby of the library early Thursday morning before being killed by Tallahassee and campus police.
May was a lawyer who graduated from FSU in 2005 and went on to get a law degree from Texas Tech.
After May began shooting, officers returned fire, killing him in front of the library.
Two victims are hospitalized and one has been released. Two of the victims were students and one was an employee who worked at the library, police said.
In the meantime, new details are emerging about May. The accused gunman may deliver a new message even after being shot to death by police.
Some of his friends said they are expecting packages, as early as Friday, that May sent just before his fatal altercation.
Joe Paul, a former FSU student, says he spoke to May just a couple months ago. He said May sent him a message and picture, telling him to expect a package in the mail. But Paul doesn't know what to expect.
"Perhaps the package is a manifesto, perhaps it's an answer to the why," Paul said. "You wonder why. Did he suffer mental illness? Perhaps that's the reason why."
May also left behind a written journal and some videos he recorded.
Based on this evidence, police believe May was in a state of crisis but are still working pinpoint an exact motive.
With the investigation ongoing, students will continue to stand united and move forward, heading back to class and studying for upcoming exams.
The Seminole football players will wear special decals on their helmets for Saturday's game to show their support for the community. Also, Thrasher will deliver a video message to fans inside the stadium before kickoff.
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