Myron May has been named as the shooter who wounded three students during an attack on the Strozier Library on the Tallahassee campus of Florida State University. At 12:25 a.m. on November 20, May walked into the library and opened fire with his .380 handgun, wounding three students. Just five minutes after the initial shots were fired May was shot dead by responding police on an access ramp leading into the library. The incident was over by 12:30 a.m. According to Tallahassee Police Chief Tom DeLeo, in total, 30 shots were fired between May and cops.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Thought the Government Was Targeting Him & Believed in Mind-Control Technology
May was a member of the group, “Targeted Individuals International,” on Facebook. On November 14, six days before the shooting he posted on the group’s page, asking if anyone else there had “been encouraged to by your handler to kill with a promise of freedom?” Around the same time as that post, he told the other followers of the group that he was a lawyer and would help the members of “Targeted Individuals International.”
In one ominous Facebook post, he shared a MEME showing Google’s homepage with the phrase “targeted individuals” typed into the search bar, the cursor is on the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button.
The day before he posted that, he shared this video of former professional wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura talking about mind control technology.
The video was accompanied with these words: “IS OUR GOVERNMENT VIOLATING ORDINARY CITIZENS’ RIGHTS? UNFORTUNATELY, THE ANSWER IS YES!”
Speaking to the Tallahassee Democrat, May’s former roommate, Keith Jones, said:
He was really smart and extremely hard working. There is more to his mental health (status) that may have caused some of this. He was taking medications which caused paranoia. He used to see a therapist on a regular basis. He thought people were spying on him.
The Tallahassee Police Chief Tom DeLeo said at a press conference that officers had obtained his videos and journals which illustrate his paranoia and the fact that he thought the government was targeting him. Chief DeLeo said that he felt May was going through a psychological crisis. Police added that they don’t think May had specific targets in mind when he opened fire. You can watch part of the conference here:
2. He Was a Lawyer Who Graduated From FSU
May is a lawyer who graduated from Florida State, class of 2005, and attended law school at Texas Tech, according to his Facebook page. He also studied at Gulf Coast State College. His social media page says that he’s the “In-house Legal Counsel at Taunton Family Children’s Home,” though the founder of the charity said he didn’t have a role with the organization and that she didn’t know why he listed himself as such.
He’s a native of Dayton, Ohio, and but last lived in Wewahitchka, Florida. His friend, Keith Jones, told the Tallahassee Democrat that prior to moving to Florida, he was living in New Mexico, where he’s licensed to practice law. He lived there with his girlfriend but left to move to Florida in the last few weeks.
In 2006, he lived in Lubbock, Texas, before moving to Houston in 2010. According to Lawyers.com, he was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 2010 and worked at Kennard Law in Houston. His page at the Texas Bar website lists his areas of practice:
Administrative and Public, Business, Consumer, Criminal, Insurance, Labor-Employment, Litigation: Commercial, Litigation: Personal Injury, Other, LGBT Law, Workers’ Compensation, Appellate: Civil, Appellate: Criminal, Disability Law.
The Associated Press reports that he was planning to take the Florida bar exam in February.
3. He Had Been Staying at the Home of a Nationally Renowned Charity Worker
Prior to the shooting he had been staying at the home of Abigail and David Taunton, Florida-based real estate developers and head of the Taunton Family Children’s Home. Speaking to the Associated Press, Abigail Taunton said:
We’re just all astounded. We had no idea that he would do something like this. Obviously, he was not in his right mind. He was a well-liked, real smart…My heart’s broken. In a million years I wouldn’t have thought he’d do something like this. He was struggling, having decided that what he was doing out there was not good. He had some issues and just decided he’d come home. He was struggling, like we all do, financially and otherwise.
You can watch a video about the Taunton’s charity, which was featured on Oprah in 2000, below:
According to Abigail’s LinkedIn page, the charity is described as:
My husband David and I started the Children’s Home in 1981 and run it day to day as well as handle the financial aspects of the Home. We have 14 children presently with room for more. We have Summer Camps all through the summer for about 1500 children. It is a non for profit organization that exists solely on private donations, no government funds. It has been a real blessing.
The Tauntons told Fox Tampa Bay that they were contacted by his uncle on the morning of his shooting.
4. He Was a Devout Christian
May’s final post on Facebook was the biblical verse, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” One his friends commented on the quotation with:
There is a joke in there about freshman year but I’m going to refrain from being profane. Pound sign: maturity.
To which May replied:
I got it. You really need help.
The week before the shooting he posted this:
He frequently quotes verses from the Bible and in his About section, he writes his own proverbs, such as:
Beware the Good Idea Fairy: Her wings of passion and sincerity allow her to sore, but she is completely devoid of logic and common sense.
5. ‘There’s No Profile of a School Shooter’
There is not a “profile of a school shooter-instead the students who carried out the attacks differed from one another in numerous ways. Shootings are rarely impulsive acts. They are typically thought out and planned in advance.
You can read the full article here:
Less than 24 hours after the shooting, students at FSU gathered at the Strozier Library for a vigil, reports the Tallhassee Democrat. Classes were canceled the day after the attack but the school is open for those seeking counseling.
The student newspaper FS View reports one of the victims is in good condition and another is in critical condition. Another victim was treated at the scene. The relationship between May and the victims is unclear.