Students today held a vigil in the aftermath of last nights Strozier shootings. Last night, three students were shot by gunman Myron May, an alumni of FSU. There was an impromptu service held this morning, and a slightly more official organized for five this evening at the Integration Statue.
The scene stretched far from the statue itself as hundreds, possibly a thousand, students gathered in solidarity to comfort and strengthen one another.
The service opened with campus a cappella groups uniting to perform an emotionally charged rendition of Amazing Grace and I’ll Run To You, with sirens and sounds of the city singing in the background.
Stefano Cavallaro spoke at the service, praising the bravery of the police officers who responded and giving words of encouragement to the Noles gathered.
This was followed by a prayer, asking God to give us strength and love in this time ahead, then by a candlelight service.
Candles were passed out as we entered the plaza. “A light is coming to you” a woman said as we lit the candles in each others hands.
Andrew Gillam, the soon-to-be mayor of Tallahassee spoke as well. He stated that this is not the way he would prefer to begin his term as mayor, but he praised the bravery of the FSUPD and TPD who responded and had the shooter “subdued” within five minutes of being informed of the event. He also praised the strength of those present and all those involved with the Seminole community.
The vigil ended with the Marching Chiefs, playing a song called Seminoles as well as FSUs Alma Mater and the Hymn To The Garnet And The Gold. Everyone in the crowd raised their candles and joined in singing the hymn of our school. There was an encore as an impromptu Warchant was started by a few students near the statue. The entire gathered crowd was soon chanting and doing the chop. The Chiefs even joined in, blasting our song across the campus.
The service was solemn, yet there was joy in it. It showed that even in times of sorrow, we could stand together and be strong. It showed that the Seminole Nation has been damaged, but its spirit not defeated. Tonight’s vigil served to show that we had been hurt, yet we remain unconquered.
Strozier is to be open tomorrow at 9 AM. Classes will proceed as normal tomorrow. The FSU Counseling Center is open to any students who may need its services, and can be reached at (850) 644-2003.
by ROBERT COCANOUGHER / staff writer