Hours after a gunman opened fire on a Florida State University library, students gathered on Landis Green just outside the building. Joining hands, the crowd fell silent as they reflected on the Thursday morning attack that left three wounded and the gunman dead.

“You hear about these things happening everywhere else, but you never think it’s actually going to happen at your university,” said Mikayla Ruane, a freshman student who attended the Thursday morning vigil. “It’s heartbreaking. I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel.

”Ruane, who lives in the residence hall directly across from Strozier Library where the shooting took place, said she heard gunshots coming from the library early Thursday morning. And as students gathered on the green to reflect on what had happened, they echoed Ruane’s feelings of confusion and uncertainty.

“This is supposed to be a safe place, somewhere you feel like everything is under control,” said Zach Rutledge, another freshman student, as he stood next to Ruane, solemnly looking at the library across police tape. “I just don’t know anymore.

”The vigil painted a picture of a community in shock, eager to heal itself in the aftermath of an unexpected tragedy. Some students kneeled in prayer in front of one of the university’s iconic fountains; some tearfully embraced classmates; some seemed as if they didn’t know how to react, painfully eying the university’s central library, once the site of late-night study sessions, but now the site of a bloody attack.

With many central areas at FSU roped off by police tape, the usually bustling campus was nearly silent – classes and exams had been canceled and police continued to investigate the scene, while students – many too shocked for words – stood quietly on Landis Green, sipping on coffee and waiting for answers.

Standing alone, staring melancholically at Strozier Library, Miguel Mendoza was tired. As a first-year student living on campus, he said what transpired the night before didn’t seem real.“I can’t believe where I’m standing,” the freshman said quietly.

“I can’t believe this happened. You go to college with rose-colored glasses and everything seems great. You can’t help but think: “How did this happen?”FSU students pray at the Landis Legacy Foundation just outside Strozier library.

(Photo by Kristopher Greenwood)Just after midnight on Thursday, a gunman fired on the crowded library containing more than 300 students, wounding three people before being shot dead by police just outside the building.

The three victims were taken to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital for treatment. One victim, who was grazed by a bullet, has since been released.In a late afternoon press conference, Tallahassee police identified the gunman as Myron May, an alumnus of FSU and Texas Tech University’s Law School.

According to the Associated Press, May was licensed to practice law in Texas and New Mexico,  and had recently moved back to Florida. Authorities had not yet identified May’s motive for the attack.As the shooting unfolded, students in the library reported hearing about half a dozen gunshots and raced to take shelter among the four-story library’s bookshelves, chairs and tables.

Tallahassee and FSU police arriving on the scene confronted May in front of the library, ordering him to drop his weapon, according to Tallahassee Police Department spokesman David Northway. Disobeying their order, May fired at police, who then returned fire and fatally shot May.

Within minutes of the attack, the university sent out text messages and e-mails to students, warning them of a “dangerous situation” on campus and instructing them to seek shelter away from doors and windows.For many students who were not present during the attack, the university’s alert remained an utter mystery.

They raced to social media sites in search of updates from friends and classmates, frantically trying to gain a sense of relief. But many posts on Twitter and Facebook seemed to create more questions than answers.

Students join hands at a Thursday morning vigil after a gunman fired shots in a Florida State University library, wounding three people.(Photo by Kristopher Greenwood)“You get an e-mail saying there’s a dangerous situation on campus, and you have no idea what that means,” said Stephanie Plucinsky, a senior at FSU, as she sat on the edge of Landis Legacy Fountain during Thursday morning’s vigil.

“Is it a robbery? You just didn’t know. So I went on Twitter and that’s when I heard there was a shooting. You just want answers, but they never seem to come quick enough.

”Within an hour of the shooting, rumors of a second gunman surfaced on social media, but were quickly dispelled by police at an early-morning press conference.

“The officers that were on scene are working to secure the surrounding areas of FSU school campus, but there’s no belief at this time that there are any other threats,” said Northway.

“This an evolving crime scene. We are working it and we are working to ensure that everybody

Source: In wake of shooting, FSU students grieve together | USA TODAY College