FSU Strong: Bainbridge natives touched by FSU shooting

Published 4:47 pm Friday, November 21, 2014

What started as a normal day for many, turned into chaos and confusion just after midnight Thursday at Florida State University’s library in Tallahassee.

Bainbridge resident and FSU senior Meghan Vickers was working on a research paper due before the Thanksgiving break when she received an emergency notification from FSU.

“The notification was pretty vague,” Vickers said. “Basically all it said was that there was an emergency situation on campus and to seek shelter immediately and to stay away from all windows and doors. When I read it, it wasn’t quite like the others we’ve received. It was a little different, so my heart kind of dropped, because I had a bad feeling about it when I read it.”

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Some members of the FSU community didn’t know about the emergency until after an “all clear” had been issued in the morning.

“I received the text message from the FSU alert that there was a dangerous situation on campus,” said Mycla Baker, Bainbridge native and FSU academic adviser. “Of course I was already at home. I actually had my phone on silent, so I did not get the message until I woke up in the morning to get ready to come to work. I still didn’t really know exactly what had happened, just that something was going on.”

As the events of the early morning shooting at FSU’s Strozier Library unfurled, friends and family members were scared and confused as information became available.

“I looked on the news, and nothing was being presented yet, so I didn’t know what was happening,” Vickers said, “so the next thing I knew was to look on Twitter, because that’s usually the fastest way for students to communicate about anything that’s going on around campus.”

Vickers said that initially she couldn’t find anything more than rumors and confusion.

“And then soon after, probably within the next 10 or 15 minutes, you could tell that the tweets changed from confused to being absolutely certain that there was a gunman on campus,” Vickers said. “I was up most of the night trying to figure out what was happening, trying to get into contact with students that I knew were usually in the library that late.”

Around 5 a.m., FSU notified students that Thursday classes were cancelled.

“I found out that students’ classes were cancelled, but I still had to go into work,” Baker said. “I did not see many students in my office yesterday. Everybody was just kind of in shock. You always think, ‘Oh that happens elsewhere. It doesn’t happen here,’ but this time it did.”

There were more than 300 students in the library when Myron May, 31, shot three people.

“For a library to have 300 people in it at the time,” Vickers said, “it’s really a testament to FSU police department and the Tallahassee police department that only three people were injured.”

In the wake of the tragedy, the FSU community has come together.

“In times of tragedy, that’s when people really come together,” Baker said, “and that happened here. People who have never been friends before, who have never seen each other before, bonded over this experience and connections were made, friendships were made over a tragic situation.”

Moving forward, Baker anticipates extra caution, but has hope that things will get back to a state of normalcy.

“There was actually an orientation session yesterday and today for new students who are starting in the spring,” Baker said.” I have not heard that this incidence has affected students who are planning to start in the future and in the spring, but I’m definitely interested to hear when we have our session to see what students and parents are feeling and talking about.”