The authorities in Tallahassee, Fla., on Thursday were investigating an overnight shooting on the campus of Florida State University that left three wounded and the gunman dead.
At a news conference early Thursday, the police said they were trying to piece together the circumstances that led to the shooting at Strozier Library, in the heart of the university campus.
The identity of the gunman has not been released, and the police said the families of the injured were being notified. A Tallahassee Police Department spokesman said all three were being treated for gunshot wounds.
Florida State’s president, John Thrasher, said in a statement that there was no further threat to people on the campus. He said the shooting victims were students.
According to the early morning police briefing, the incident began shortly after midnight Thursday, when a gunman approached Strozier Library, where students were gathered to study, and opened fire. Students inside the library fled or took cover.
The police responded to the shooting about 12:30 a.m., urging students and faculty members to shelter.
David Northway, a spokesman for the Tallahassee Police Department, the department leading the investigation, said that when confronted near the entrance of the library, the gunman had fired at university police officers, who fired back and killed him.
Allison Kope, a freshman from Cocoa Beach was on the library’s first floor when the shooting began, she said: “I ran for my life,” she told The Associated Press. “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.”
Hours after the shooting, according to The A.P., detectives were still examining the body of the suspected gunman, who was lying face down at the top of an access ramp just outside the library. A gray baseball cap lay near his head.
Shortly after 4 a.m., the campus was given an “all clear” announcement. Hundreds of students who had taken refuge near the library were allowed to return to their homes, according to media reports.
At the news conference, the police said that they did not known the motive for the shooting.
The university said that it would remain open on Thursday, but that it would not hold classes.
Reached by phone shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday, an overnight nursing supervisor at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare said people with gunshot wounds had been admitted to the facility and were being treated, although it was not immediately clear whether they had been shot on campus.
Schools and universities around the country have taken steps to prepare for such emergencies, including creating campuswide alert systems like the one activated on Thursday by Florida State.
Students were left shaken by the events that unfurled overnight in the tight-knit college town.
Reo Morris, 24, a second-year graduate student from Clearwater, Fla., received the advisory on his phone. He said in a phone interview that he was in touch with friends at Strozier Library who were under lockdown as the police searched for the gunman.
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Toni Haywood, a junior, told ABC News she was on the second floor of Strozier Library when she heard gunshots. Minutes later, people on the first floor ran upstairs, telling others to hide, she said.
“The police came on the intercom and said that there was a gunman in the lobby, and I think he said two people had been shot,” Ms. Haywood told ABC News. “He said to stay away from doors and windows and to stay where we were. We all waited, then the police came back on and said the gunman was in custody and to stay where we were.”
Mr. Morris said he frequently worked late at the library.
“I have no clue what could have possibly happened to make someone do that,” he said.
The university, one of the largest in Florida, has about 40,000 students enrolled in 16 colleges spread across Tallahassee, the state capital. The university has recently drawn criticism after reports that athletes on its football team, a contender for this year’s national collegiate championship, had received preferential treatment from the police in criminal matters.