TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – The student who was critically injured in Thursday's shooting at Florida State University is paralyzed from the waist down, but still determined to realize his dream of becoming a biomedical engineer, his sister told reporters Monday.
Farhana Ahmed, the older sister of FSU student Farhan "Ronny" Ahmed, said her brother's condition has been upgraded from critical to serious at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, where he was taken after the shooting and where she met with reporters.
"Despite his injuries, he's alive and we're so grateful he is here with us," she said.
Ronny Ahmed, 21, was shot three times, and Farhana Ahmed (pictured below) said one of those bullets struck his spine. He was the most seriously injured of the three people attacked at FSU's Strozier Library early Thursday morning, when a gunman, Myron May, opened fire in the lobby.
May reloaded at least once and tried to enter the library, where about 450 students were studying for midterm exams, but was blocked by lobby security barriers that permit only students and staff inside.
May was shot and killed by FSU and Tallahassee police who were on the scene in less than five minutes.
Farhana Ahmed credited law enforcement for sparing other students from May's bullets.
"Ronny himself was probably saved by the quickness of their actions," she said.
University employee Nathan Scott, 30, was shot in the leg and was released from the hospital Friday. The third victim, Elijah Velez, 18, suffered what police called a "grazing" wound.
Farhana Ahmed said she spoke to reporters on behalf of her family to respond to messages from across the country.
"We've gotten so many teddy bears and letters and calls and messages of support saying they are with Ronny and they hope he recovers soon and that he is part of the Tallahassee community," she said.
At her side was FSU President John Thrasher, who pledged his full support to the Ahmed family.
"Florida State University is 100 percent committed to ensuring that we do everything we can to fulfill Ronny's dream, as Farhana said, of achieving his goal of graduating from Florida State University," Thrasher said. "We are going to work with her and her family to do that and continue to support them in every way we can."
Friends of the Ahmed family put up a fundraising website to help with Ronny's medical expenses, and donations are pouring in. To donate, go to youcaring.com.
Farhana Ahmed said her brother grew up in Orlando and graduated from Lake Highland Preparatory School. He has a year and a half to go to complete his bachelor's degree at FSU.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.