The first of several packages mailed by a man who shot three people at a Florida State University library was delivered in Texas and is in the hands of the FBI, the agency said Friday.
Authorities thought the packages could contain videos and journals from Myron May, who was killed by police officers outside the library Thursday, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because that person wasn’t authorized to release information about the case.
Shauna Dunlap, FBI special agent in Houston, declined to provide details on the nature of the package or the recipient, referring questions to the Tallahassee Police Department.
“The package did not pose a hazardous threat to the public,” Dunlap said. “However, it is going to be part of the ongoing investigation.”
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service also said the packages weren’t a threat and said they were flat-rate, priority mail envelopes.
Police obtained videos and journals Thursday that indicate May feared he was being watched and targeted by the government. Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo said May was trying to get that message out.
May sent friends messages before the shooting saying they could expect packages Friday. Authorities were trying to intercept them, but they weren’t sure where each of the packages was to be delivered. They believe they are being sent to several states.
May graduated from Florida State in 2005 and earned a law degree at Texas Tech University. He worked as a lawyer in Texas and New Mexico before returning about three weeks ago to Florida. He has family in Ohio, where he was born.
May posted on his Facebook page links to information on alleged government mind-reading and he believed the government was spying on him. He made rambling statements to police and a former girlfriend. He abruptly quit his job and headed back to Florida, staying with friends and giving no hint about his violent plans until early Thursday when he headed to his alma mater.
“Mr. May’s sense of being and place in our community was not what most people would refer to as a normal,” DeLeo said Thursday. “He had a sense of crisis and he was searching for something.”
At Strozier Library, about 450 students were studying when May showed up and opened fire. When police arrived, the 31-year-old alumnus had wounded two students and an employee and reloaded a .380 semi-automatic pistol. He refused to put down the weapon and a gun battle erupted. Between May and police, 30 rounds were fired.
May didn’t get past the lobby, but the sound of gunfire set off screams among students, who scrambled for cover among the bookshelves and barricaded themselves in rooms.
Vice President of Student Affairs Mary Coburn said Friday that a security system was put in place at the library after May graduated. It requires a student to swipe a student ID in order to get past a turnstile. May apparently was unable to move further into the library because of the obstacle.
Florida State President John Thrasher greeted students Friday as the library reopened with a heavy police presence.
Friends called May sweet, smart and understated. He returned to Florida to get a new start in life.
“His fraternity nickname was ‘Sensitive Joe’ and it was fitting,” said state Rep. Matt Gaetz, who belonged to the same Florida State political club as May. “I was so surprised that someone with this docile nature would have something happen in their lives that would have this outcome.”
There were signs of his unraveling.
Police in Las Cruces, New Mexico, said a former girlfriend called to report he came to her home uninvited and claimed police were bugging his house and car. Danielle Nixon told police May recently developed “a severe mental disorder.”
“Myron began to ramble and handed her a piece to a car and asked her to keep it because this was a camera that police had put in his vehicle,” a police report said.
Police were still going through May’s writings and social media posts, but it was clear something was wrong.
“Mr. May had a written journal and videos where he expressed fears of being targeted and that he wanted to bring attention to this issue of targeting,” DeLeo said. “Mr. May was in a state of crisis.”
Abigail Taunton, who runs a foster home in the Florida Panhandle, let May stay in a guest house. She knew him as a teenager who moved to rural Wewahitchka in the Florida Panhandle to live with his grandmother after having problems with his parents in Ohio.
“We’re just all astounded,” Taunton said. “Obviously, he was not in his right mind.”
May was licensed to practice law in Texas and New Mexico and Taunton said he was preparing to take the Florida bar exam in February.
“He was having some financial issues and moved back home and decided he’d come back to Florida to work,” she said. “My heart’s broken.”
In New Mexico, Third Judicial District Attorney Mark D’Antonio said May worked for his office as a junior attorney from Jan. 18 until his unexpected resignation Oct. 6. He said he didn’t know why May stepped down, leaving a formal resignation letter on his desk.
“He performed his job with great distinction,” D’Antonio said at a news conference. “He was friendly and kind. Everyone liked him.”
Republished with permission of the Associated Press.