A gunman opened fire early Thursday at a Florida State University library sending hundreds of students who had been up all night studying for exams scrambling for cover in the book aisles and barricading themselves in with desks. Three students were wounded before police killed the gunman in a shootout, authorities said.
Police and FSU officials called the shooting an “isolated incident,” but have not released many details, including how far the suspected gunman made it into Strozier Library. FSU’s compact campus is located less than a mile from downtown Tallahassee and the state Capitol.
Here is a compilation of reactions to and statements about the FSU shooting:
Governor Rick Scott:
“Our prayers are with the families and loved ones of everyone touched by this tragedy. We still have a lot of questions that are unanswered.
“The police investigation will answer many of the questions we are asking today. But, just like any tragedy, the ultimate question of ‘why?’ will never have an answer that satisfies those whose loved ones have been injured or killed. For that reason, I am asking everyone on FSU’s campus and everyone across our state, and even the nation, to pray for FSU today. Pray for our state – and every student and family affected by this tragedy.
“Second, I want to thank the FSU Police Department and the Tallahassee Police Department for their quick response in keeping this campus safe. Because of your hard work and training – your response time was almost immediate and the campus is once again safe for students.
“While our hearts are broken for the injuries and the loss of life that occurred here last night, I have every confidence that FSU will become an even stronger campus as they come together and heal from this tragedy.
“The people of Florida, and especially those on our distinguished university campuses, are remarkable people. Everyone on this campus came here for a dream. They are dreaming of bigger and better things for their lives. They have careers they want to pursue; businesses they want to start; dreams of building a family… and that all starts right here with getting a great education at FSU.
“I know every Seminole has the heart of a dreamer. And, every dreamer is resilient. I look forward to seeing the FSU community all across our state and nation come together and lean on each other in the days ahead. And, I know the unparalleled leadership of President John Thrasher will be vital to this school’s healing and continued sense of pride and unity.
“In closing, I want to address the students on this campus: As a father of two daughters who both went away to college not too long ago, I can imagine the anxiety your parents are feeling today. Please take time to call them and let them know how you are doing. Talk to them about how this has affected you. If you don’t want to talk to your parents, please talk to someone at your church, synagogue or one of the consolers being organized by FSU.
“We live in a world today that is always moving on to the next thing. But, I want to encourage you to take time and process the tragedy that happened here last night and not simply ignore it. This will ultimately be the most important thing you can do to move forward, grow stronger, and appreciate each and every precious day given to us by God.
“Finally, I am planning to connect with the families of those students still in the hospital and hopefully visit them there later today. We will continue to release additional information as the results of the investigation develop.”
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater:
“As a Floridian and as a father of a Florida State University student, I am deeply saddened by the shooting that took place in the early morning hours at Strozier Library. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims and the entire Florida State University community as we try to process and recover from this event. .
“While praying for a swift recovery for those who were injured, let us also offer our heartfelt gratitude for the first responders who reacted immediately and without hesitation to ensure the protection of students and faculty during a violent and unpredictable situation. Their bravery saved lives today. .
“Let this tragedy strengthen our resolve and let the Tallahassee community and all of Florida stand together in support of those impacted by today’s events.”
U.S. Rep.-elect Gwen Graham:
“My heart goes out to all FSU students, families, and staff. All Floridians will be keeping the FSU community in our thoughts and prayers as we mourn this senseless tragedy.
“Today, our FSU family and all Floridians should take a moment to pray for the victims and their families for a full and speedy recovery. And we need to thank the FSU and Tallahassee Police Departments, whose officers acted so swiftly to stop the gunman before more innocent people were hurt.”
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
“My thoughts and prayers are with our Florida State University family at this difficult time.
“Tragically, we are once again reminded that these acts of senseless violence have become all too common at our schools, and it’s time we recommit ourselves to implementing measures that will create a safer environment for all our students.
“In the days and weeks ahead, I know that no hatred can outshine the loving spirit of this strong community. I wish a speedy recovery to all those wounded in this attack.”