FSU gunman’s former roommate and long-time friend says he needed help

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KANSAS CITY -- Friends of the Florida State University shooter, Myron May, say he'd been acting strangely for the past few months. In a FOX 4 exclusive, an area man who once was May's roommate  in Tallahassee, Fla. told Melissa Stern May was not well and didn't get the help he needed.

"He became like a brother," said Keith Jones, an educator in Kansas who went to Florida A&M University for his undergraduate studies.

That's where he met May, who was attending FSU -- the man identified as the gunman who wounded three people on campus just after midnight Thursday morning.

"We met through the fraternity," said Jones, "We were part of Phi Beta Sigma."

Jones had known May for 14 years, in fact, they were roommates during their last two years of college.

"We were both presidents of our respective chapters," added Jones, "He kind of was the go-to person when we needed advice on how to handle a situation."

May was Jones' best man at his wedding, and despite the distance between them now, they talked often.

Jones said about a month ago, May began saying strange things.

"He told me about how he was hearing voices and he thought someone was spying on him," said Jones, "This is unusual for my conversation with him, and it did not seem like it was himself."

They were prayer partners --praying together once a week.  This past Wednesday was no different before the shooting.

"I was rushing into work, I led off by praying. I remember praying that we had a positive day and I remember asking for strength to deal with difficult situations, and I just prayed that he had a good week, that we both had a good week," Jones recalled. "Then I kind of rushed off the phone, and he said thanks KJ, that's what I needed. And I didn't really allow him to do his prayer, because I had to go, and so as I sit here and kind of reflect I wish I let him pray. And you know, you play the woulda, shoulda, coulda game, but when I left him I thought he was in his right mind."

"We in America right now have chosen, by our public policy decisions, by our funding decisions, to treat mental health problems when a person is in a stage of crisis," said Susan Crain Lewis, the president and CEO of Mental Health America of the Heartland.

She says changes in behavior, "irrationalities or bizzareness in their thought patterns," are major signs of mental illness.

Jones said May's friends and family were concerned, but May was seeing a therapist and was on medication.

"The person who committed this horrible crime was not well himself," said Jones, who got the call Thursday morning.

"My heart kind of just dropped, and then they said, 'well he's dead,'" said Jones, "I knew he was a good person, he was a spiritual person, and that act was not reflective of who he was."

Jones says talking about his friend  in no way justifies his actions and he feels horrible for the shooting victims. He wanted to get the message out that there is help available.

Nationwide Hotline:
1-800-SUICIDE
1-800-273-TALK (8255)