Myron May's family and friends described him as a "good person" who has just moved back home to open up his own law practice and put some "troubles" behind him.
Police say the 31-year-old was "in a state of crisis" and believed he was being targeted by the government. May's Facebook page showed he was interested in "targeted individuals," who believe they are victims of mind control and covert harassment they call "gang stalking."
"Has anyone here ever been encouraged by your handler to kill with a promise of freedom?" May wrote on Nov. 14 on a Facebook page for a group called Targeted Individuals International.
It's unknown why May chose Florida State University for his attack — in which he shot three people before being killed by police — but he graduated from the school in 2005 with an economics degree.
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He then got a law degree from Texas Tech and practiced law in Texas before moving to New Mexico to work as a public defender in Las Cruces and then a prosecutor in the Dona Ana County district attorney's office.
"He was an effective Prosecutor who was deeply committed to his work and serving the public while employed at our office," the DA said in a statement, adding that May "abruptly resigned" on Oct. 6.
Three weeks ago, May went back to Florida — where he had been raised by his grandmother, starting at age 13 — in the hopes of passing the bar and hanging a shingle, those close to him said.
"He wanted to come back to his roots and open his own practice here," said David Taunton, a longtime family friend.
"He was supposed to take the Florida bar exam in February. We were basically providing him with emergency shelter until he could get on his feet. He was having some financial difficulties.
"He stayed with us through last Friday and we haven’t seen him since. There’s no way to explain something like this, but he was a good person.”
May's cousin, Cedric Lenox, said he had been a role model — a bright student who ran track and went to church on Sundays.
"I know he was having troubles before, girlfriend issues," Lenox said. "I thought he came home because he wanted to start a new chapter.”
Whatever those personal problems were, May did not seem unhinged when his cousin saw him. In fact, Lenox, a middle-school teacher, invited him to speak to his students.
"He said, I can’t do it this week, maybe after Thanksgiving,'" Lenox recalled. "I said, ‘I love you cuz’ and he said, ‘I love you, too.’”
Lenox said his mother saw May at church a couple of weeks ago. "He said, 'I'm glad I'm home,'" he recalled.
May's Facebook page suggests he was devout. It's filled with biblical quotations. The last one was posted Nov. 18: "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
But other postings pointed to a paranoid streak. On the Targeted Individuals International page, he wrote that he was a lawyer and was mulling legal action. The next day, Nov. 15, he announced he had formed a group "for every TI who wants to pursue a class action lawsuit."