The Slatest

Reports on FSU Shooter Describe Sudden Mental Deterioration, No History of Violence

Myron May


Friends and acquaintances of Florida State mass shooter Myron May, who was killed by police early Thursday morning after injuring three students at a campus library, say that he had become increasingly paranoid and depressed recently—but that he gave no indication of violent tendencies and had not evinced any anger toward FSU, the school from which he received an undergraduate degree in 2005.

The Tallahassee Democrat notes that police in New Mexico had dealt with May, who until recently lived in Las Cruces, twice in past months:

An Oct. 7 report indicates May went to his ex-girlfriend’s house and told her he thought police were bugging his phone and placing cameras in his home and car …

She told police May’s mental disorder “has been steadily progressing for the last several weeks and within the last couple of days it had gotten bad,” according to the report.

May had also written on Facebook that he was being targeted and surveilled by the government. Before he was killed he told several friends he had mailed them packages, which the AP says “could contain videos and journals” similar to materials already obtained by police in which May documents his perceived persecution.

A former roommate named Keith Jones says he knew that May was struggling after leaving his job as a prosecutor in New Mexico but did not have any reason to believe he would harm himself or others:

“What he did was absolutely terrible,” Jones said of the shooting. “He never had a gun in the 20 years that I’ve known him. He hadn’t shown that he was a danger to (his girlfriend) or to himself. This guy didn’t come there (to FSU) to be malicious. He wasn’t in his right mind to shoot those people and then leave, knowing police would kill him.”

And a man named David Taunton whose family knew May and provided him a temporary residence about 80 miles from Tallahassee says he had no known grudge with Florida State:

“He didn’t have anything against anybody at FSU,” he said while sitting at a large rectangular wood table in the kitchen of the group home, which houses girls ages 8 to 18. “This was a random thing, nothing against those poor victims. He was proud of FSU. They had been good to him.”

May is not known to have any criminal record.