Hours before Myron May strode into a Florida State University library with murder on his mind, he left a series of chilling voicemails saying he was being attacked by an "energy weapon" and had a scheme to expose it "once and for all."
Those messages, along with mysterious packages that May mailed to friends before he shot three people, were the culmination of what seemed to be a mental breakdown several months in the making.
Two months ago, the promising young prosecutor went to police and told them that people were watching him through cameras planted in his apartment and talking about him through the walls. Last month, May abruptly resigned from his job, and a worried ex-girlfriend told police he suffered from mental problems that were getting worse.
May, an FSU alumnus, was killed by police early Thursday morning. On Friday, May's three victims were identified as Elijah Velez, 18; library employee Nathan Scott, 30; and Farhan Ahmed, 21. Velez was grazed by a bullet and treated at the scene and released. Scott, who was shot in the leg, was released from the hospital Friday night. Ahmed remained hospitalized in critical condition Friday evening […].
At the time May began showing signs of mental instability, he was an associate trial attorney in the felony division of the Third Judicial District Attorney's Office in Las Cruces, N.M. He'd previously worked in the area as a public defender.
District Attorney Mark D'Antonio said his colleagues saw no sign of May's mental decline.
"I nearly fell off the chair," D'Antonio said Friday, describing when he learned of the shooting. "It was as shocking to me as it could have been. The staff took it hard. He was very well-liked."
May's visit to the police station in Las Cruces happened on Sept. 7.
"He stated that he can constantly hear voices coming through the walls specifically talking about actions he was doing," an officer wrote in an incident report. As an example, May cited a time he had climbed out of a bubble bath and began applying lotion.
"He specifically stated he heard voices say, 'Did you see that, he never puts lotion on,' " the report states.
Police said there was nothing they could do, and May responded that he planned to hire a private investigator and wanted his report documented.
Weeks later, on Oct. 6, May's co-workers arrived at work to find he had cleaned out his office and left, leaving a resignation letter on his desk. The letter thanked D'Antonio, was professional and showed no sign of a breakdown.
"None of us saw any clue," D'Antonio said. "If I had known, we could have gotten him some help. Maybe this wouldn't have happened."
The next night, police were called to the home of May's ex-girlfriend. May had just left, after showing up rambling and giving her a piece of a car he said was a camera that police had placed in his SUV. May's former girlfriend, who had dated him for about 15 months before breaking up two weeks before, was worried about his state of mind.
"Myron has recently developed a severe mental disorder," police wrote in a report. "Myron believes that the police are after him and are bugging his phone and car, as well as placing cameras in his home and car."
May's ex-girlfriend said he'd been taking prescription medication and had recently been taken to Mesilla Valley Hospital for a mental health evaluation. He had not made suicidal or homicidal threats, but had been acting erratically.
"He has been staying up four to five days straight with no sleep and recently he took a trip from Las Cruces to Colorado and back again in one day with no reason," an officer wrote.
Police went to May's apartment to check on his well being, but he wasn't home. They issued an alert for his vehicle for an "officer's safety/welfare check" […].
May was also a member of a Facebook group called "Targeted Individuals International." Targeted Individuals are people — often seen as conspiratorial or delusional — who contend they are targets of spying, harassment or abuse, sometimes by electromagnetic radiation weaponry.
On Friday, NBC News reported that May had reached out to another "targeted individual," Renee Pittman Mitchell, about a week ago through Facebook.
"He told me he just didn't want to go on living like this," Mitchell told NBC News. She said May left her three voicemails between 9:19 p.m. and 9:42 p.m. Wednesday, just hours before the shooting.
"I am currently being cooked in my chair. I devised a scheme where I was going to expose this once and for all and I really need you," he said in one of the messages, which NBC News reported had been authenticated by a relative as May's voice. "I do not want to die in vain."
In an email sent at 11:19 p.m., he wrote: "I've been getting hit with the direct energy weapon in my chest all evening. It hurts really bad right now."
That message was sent […] just over an hour before the shootings at FSU. But May had apparently already made provisions to share what he believed was happening to him.
According to a friend and the Associated Press, May mailed packages to friends that were due to arrive Friday. May snapped photos of the envelopes and messaged them to friends via Facebook before mailing them from Tallahassee. One arrived in Texas, according to the Associated Press. Another was intercepted by postal authorities in Orlando.
Joe Paul, who attended FSU with May, alerted Tallahassee police about the package headed his way.
"What did he send everyone? Was it a manifesto? Was it a message? I don't know," said Paul, 35, who formerly resided in Orange County. "I think I'm just as curious as everyone else."
A few minutes before 12:30 a.m., May shot Velez and Ahmed outside Strozier Library. He then entered the library and shot Scott, but did not pass through the lobby turnstiles. When he went back outside, he was confronted by police.
On Friday, Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs said he'd been told May had shot at the six FSU and Tallahassee police officers who first arrived on the scene. A day earlier, Tallahassee police chief Michael DeLeo had declined to answer questions about whether May had fired or pointed his weapon at police.
Meggs said once the investigation was completed he would impanel a grand jury to examine the shooting, and added that he believed all three FSU victims had been shot by the time the police arrived.
"There were two groups that had guns, the police and the dead guy. And the police weren't shooting civilians," he said […].
May's Facebook page shows that he recently shared a link to a video interview from the television show "Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura" that featured an interview with Dr. Robert Duncan, "who put together the technology that allows the government to transmit thoughts and voices into the heads of Americans."
May shared the video with this comment: "IS OUR GOVERNMENT VIOLATING ORDINARY CITIZENS' RIGHTS? UNFORTUNATELY, THE ANSWER IS YES! SEE INSIDE THIS VIDEO."
Amy Hoffman, Psy.D., a licensed psychologist in Winter Park, said the type of delusions described in police reports are likely a sign of serious mental illness.
"Paranoid delusions of this nature can be associated with major mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or in some cases bipolar disorder," Hoffman said.
It's unclear whether May, 31, had exhibited any sign of a mental health problem before the past few months.
"Typically, the age of onset for a major mental illness in males is the early 20s," Hoffman said.
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