TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State University police fatally shot a gunman at the campus library early Thursday in a shooting that left three others wounded as hundreds studying inside the library fled or took cover in panic.
Officers confronted the gunman and ordered him to drop his weapon, but he fired one shot at them and they unleashed a volley of shots, Tallahassee Police spokesman Dave Northway said.
It was not immediately known if the wounded were shot by the suspected gunman.
Northway said authorities did not believe there were any other threats related to the incident. The lockdown was later lifted and the school said on its verified Twitter account that the area was secure.
Strozier Library, a multistory building at the center of the Tallahassee campus, remained roped off with police tape hours after the shooting.
John Ehab, a sophomore from Tampa, said he was on the library’s third floor when he heard multiple gunshots.
“Everyone heard them,” he said. People took cover in the book aisles to hide from the gunman in case he came onto the floor, Ehab said.
Allison Kope, a freshman from Cocoa Beach, said she was on the library’s first floor when said she heard a loud noise and then there was a lot of commotion. She said people were screaming about a gunman and chairs started flipping over.
“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,” she said. “I ran right out the backdoor. 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.”
Freshman Nikolai Hernandez said he was in his dorm room across from the library when he heard five or six rapid gunshots.
“It was a consecutive bop, bop, bop, bop, bop,” Hernandez said. “It makes me definitely a little bit nervous. I was supposed to be in the library. I had a paper to do and I got a little bit lazy and decided not to do it.”
He said he has friends still locked inside the library two hours after the shooting.
A campus telephone alert urged people to take shelter in a nearby building and stay away from doors and windows.
Florida State President John Thrasher, who took office earlier this month, said by phone that he was in New York City and had no first-hand information. He said he was making arrangements to hurry back to Tallahassee.
University officials said classes would still be held Thursday but that students who were in the library would not be required to attend.
In a sign campus life was returning to a semblance of normalcy, workers at a doughnut shop near the library had begun cooking doughnuts for the morning rush, the smell wafting over the scene.
Associated Press writer Jeff McMurray in Chicago contributed to this report.