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One Year Later: FSU Police Chief Credits Training to Fast Response

One Year Later: FSU Police Chief Credits Training to Fast Response
Posted at 7:45 AM, Nov 20, 2015
and last updated 2017-05-30 10:24:54-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- Late on November 20, 2014, FSU alum Myron May went to the Strozier Library and opened fire, injuring three people. The gunman was killed by responding officers.

Investigators later discovered that May claimed to be a victim of "gang stalking." In a pre-recorded video, May said the shooting was a way to end his life as a "targeted individual."

First responders were on the scene of the shooting in just minutes, and officials say their fast action potentially saved lives.  

FSU Police Chief David Perry credits that to the training officers got just days before.

"Headquarters to any available units to Strozier in reference to a Bravo Mike reported seen with a handgun," reported an officer over his radio on the night of November 20, 2014.

It's been one year since FSU Police received that call, and looking back, FSU Police Chief David Perry says he would not change a thing about how his officers responded.

"To see how valiantly they responded, how they used their bravery in addition to their training was just something to be really proud of," said Perry.

Officers were on the scene minutes after shots rang out, quickly taking control of the chaotic campus scene.

Even though many officers had never responded to something like this, the situation was something they knew they could handle.

Just two weeks before Myron May opened fire outside Strozier, FSUPD went through active shooter training, preparing for the worst.

"Officers went through real scenarios, wearing the same equipment that they had, preparing the same way, and including the dispatchers who had to communicate to those officers in the same way that they would have to communicate during an active shooter," said Chief Perry.

That training came with even more practice. It was the first time the Consolidated Dispatch Agency was involved. That let law enforcement and dispatchers work hand in hand to role play different situations.

One FSU student says, "I thought FSU responded in a way that we all knew what was going on, we all knew we were safe... and then there was just an out pouring of support."

Chief Perry adds: "Those are the men and women who are going to have to keep up with those officers give them detailed information, and so we thought how better prepare them than to make them a part of that training scenario."

It's that preparation and determination that officials say really counts when lives are on the line - and will always be a priority to keep the community safe.

"Training and preparation matters, and it's extremely important in these environments that you train, that you practice and that you're proficient when it comes to the critical type situations like an active shooter," said Chief Perry.

On Friday, November 20, WTXL is airing a special retrospective about the one-year anniversary of the Strozier shooting. You can watch "FSU Strong" at 6 p.m. on WTXL ABC 27.