November 20, 2014 / 6:57 AM / 3 years ago

Alumnus dead after opening fire at Florida State University, wounding 3

TALLAHASSEE Fla. (Reuters) - Brandishing a semi-automatic handgun and carrying extra ammunition in his pockets, a Florida State University graduate opened fire early on Thursday at his alma mater's main library, wounding two students and an employee as hundreds were studying for exams.

The shooter, identified by authorities as Myron May, 31, was fatally shot by police near the entrance to Florida State's Strozier Library in the latest in a string of shootings on U.S. campuses.

Authorities said they found journals and videos written by May in which he expressed fears that government agencies were targeting him.

"Mr. May was in a state of crisis," Michael DeLeo, the police chief in Tallahassee, told a news conference.

A 2005 Florida State graduate, May received his law degree from Texas Tech University in 2009 and had moved back to Florida about three weeks ago, DeLeo said.

Authorities said one of the people shot was critically wounded while another was treated at the scene for a graze wound. Authorities did not identify either one.

A third shooting victim, Nathan Scott, was in good condition after being shot in the leg and was recovering at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Police said 30 rounds of ammunition were fired during the incident including shots by May and law enforcement officers. They said the shooter used a .380 semi-automatic handgun and had more ammunition in his pocket, but did not provide more details.

The initial call about an armed gunman at the library came at 12:25 a.m., police said. Shots were reported at 12:27 a.m., at which time the gunman was reported to be down outside the library.

Campus security was increased and classes were canceled on Thursday. University President John Thrasher said efforts were underway to restore normalcy by Friday to the campus of about 40,000 students, with weekend events to continue as scheduled.

The shooting, which occurred just over a mile (1.6 km) from the Florida state capitol building, comes amid heightened concerns about safety at U.S. schools and a long running, heated debate about gun control.

"Another campus shooting. Yet we still haven't started even a dialogue on keeping guns from criminals and the mentally ill," Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida said on his Twitter page.

Writing by Letitia Stein in Tampa, Fla. and Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Will Dunham

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