TALLAHASSEE (Christian Examiner) --Three students were shot at Florida State University early Thursday morning, after a gunman went into the university's Strozier Library where he shot and injured a number of students. The shooter was later killed in a shootout with police.
The shooter, whose name has not immediately been released, entered the 24-hour library around 12:30 a.m. and began firing a handgun at students. An estimated 300 to 400 students were inside studying for their final exams. Three students were injured, with two of them being taken to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Center, one in critical condition while the other is currently stable. The third student was grazed and was able to be treated at the scene for the injury, police have explained.
When the first shots rang out, warnings went out across the campus.
"FSU alert dangerous situation main campus-Tallahassee," the message read. "Seek shelter immediately, away from doors and windows."
Another message over the PA system warned students about the shooting and told them to call 911 if they were shot.
Many students who heard the shots fired barricaded doors with desks, tables, bookshelves and chairs in order to keep the gunman out. Staff and police began escorting the students from the building while the gunman was still inside.
"You never think something like this is going to happen to you until you have to react in that situation when someone is screaming there is a gun in the building. I ran for my life," Allison Kope, a freshman, told The Tallahassee Democrat. "I ran right out the back door. My laptop and everything is still in there. It was shock. It was just instinct. You don't think about anything else, you just go."
The entire campus was locked down by police, and students were instructed to stay inside. Officials have described that five police officers eventually approached the gunman and told him to drop his weapon, but the assailant responded by shooting at them. Multiple officers fired back, killing him at the scene.
The library was cleared by about 3 a.m. local time. Police said the shooter was most likely acting alone.
"This is an isolated incident and one person acting alone," Tallahassee police Chief Michael Deleo told reporters. "There's no indication of any further threat to anybody."
"Obviously everyone wants to know why," the police chief continued. "That's the hard answer we're going to continue to investigate."
Classes were canceled Thursday, though campus remained open and counseling was made available for students and staff. The officers involved in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave.