The Campus Shooting: Students and Local Law Enforcement Responding to An Unusual Student Associated with the Michigan State University Shooting On Monday
A shooting at the Michigan State University left three people dead, five others critically wounded, and led to a shelter-in-place order, before the suspect killed himself.
Most American students will be fine in college if they don’t have a terrible experience. But that doesn’t mean they will evade the fear such a shooting creates. Many have heard of the panic caused by false alert about active shooters or the question over whether their campus is safe.
The shooting took place on the campus hours before the anniversary of the massacre at the Florida high school. It also marked the 67th mass shooting – with four or more shot, not including a gunman – so far in 2023, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.
While police investigate what connection the shooter may have had to the locations, FBI profilers are analyzing the letter, according to the law enforcement officials. The note doesn’t say why the locations are targets or what grievances are.
It’s also unclear as to why McRae – a 43-year-old with no known ties to the university – targeted MSU. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound hours after the first shots rang out on campus Monday, police said.
MSU student Chris Trush told CNN he saw people running out of the Union building – a congregation spot for students on campus – shortly before an emergency alert went out to students informing them of the shooting on campus.
“One of the things I’m most proud of is on a campus this size how quickly every student staff faculty member immediately took action. They hid in place for hours, Teresa Woodruff said in an overnight news conference.
As shelter-in-place orders went into effect on Monday evening, a student said they and his dorm mates hunkered down and used a local police computer to check out the situation.
A female student at the Montana State University told CNN that she and a few other students were in a lounge at Campbell Hall on the north side of the campus.
Charles told CNN earlier in the night that some of her co-workers heard shots, but that she did not hear anyone shoot herself.
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Though officials said there is no longer a threat to the campus, the university will move into emergency operations for the next two days, during which time students will experience a continued police presence as investigators probe multiple scenes.
All campus activities, including both in-person and virtual classes and sporting events, have been canceled for at least 48 hours. Students and employees are provided with counseling resources.
Woodruff said they want to wrap their warm arms around every family that is touched by the tragedy and give them peace that they can understand in a moment like this. We can’t allow this to happen again.
The attack at MSU – which came one day before the five-year anniversary of a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida – resulted in the closure of all East Lansing Public Schools Tuesday.
Tonight has been terrible. It has been terrible for the students around the region. The schools have not been open in a while. This has had an affect on our whole community. The mayor said it was affecting families and everyone in the community.
“This has been a nightmare that we have been living with tonight,” he said. He added that they are relieved to no longer have an active threat on the campus and realize that healing will need to take place after this.
MSU Vice President for Public Safety and Chief of Police Marlon Lynch said responding to the shooting was a “monumental task” due in part to the size of the campus.
We had over five thousand acres to look for and 400 buildings on our campus so we got methodical and shared evidence as it comes through. Lynch said that the areas that the university is responsible for become a task.
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Police said Tuesday that the public is able to access the buildings at the center of the shootings during business hours.
Hundreds of officers from different agencies responded to the scene, Rosman said. The victims were taken to Sparrow Hospital. They were listed in critical condition, but no other information about the victims was available, Rozman said.
By 10:15 p.m. ET, police said Berkey and other buildings, were secured, and the shelter in place warning was lifted early Tuesday morning. Earlier in the evening, police discouraged parents from coming to campus.
“For parents, we understand,” Rozman said. “I can only imagine the emotion that’s involved right now. It’s going to help us, and it’s going to help our response, and it’s going to help us identify the shooter the less people that are on campus at this point.”
America’s latest mass shooting has written a new community in the roll call of colleges stigmatized by tragedy. To Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois and the University of Virginia, add Michigan State University.
Even after more people die from guns, nothing will be done because of the tortured politics of gun control and the differing opinions of Americans.
Studies show that school shooting is getting more frequent, exposing more kids to horrors, and millions more to the nagging feeling that it could happen to them.
The survivors from Michigan State and their families are terrified, according to Michigan’s Representative. “It’s terrorizing and we either do something about something that is terrorizing our population, or we don’t care about it.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel told CNN that when she dropped her kids off at Michigan State a year-and-a-half ago she thought, “It is going to be a miracle if we get these kids through four years of college without some sort of an incident like this taking place, because they happen so frequently.”
Monday’s killings led to a heartbreaking only-in-America moment, when a young Parkland survivor counseled stricken Michigan State Spartans on how to process their nightmare and what they would experience in the years ahead.
“Our campuses, churches, classrooms and communities should not be battlefields,” the governor told the grieving crowd that included students who had also lived through another mass shooting at a Michigan high school just 15 months ago.
The kids are familiar with active shooter drills. One day a parent’s child may be dropped off at class and the situation could get worse. One of the only mercies of Covid-19 school shutdowns was that fear went away for a while.
The 1999 Colorado high school shooting in which 12 students and a teacher were killed and the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, which left 32 people dead, were among the previous generations of students.
Billy Shellenbarger of the Clawson Public Schools remembered Alexandria Verner as everything you would want your daughter or friend to be. Two of the other students killed were graduates of high school in Grosse Point, Michigan.
Jon Dean, head ofGrosse Pointe Public Schools asked, “How is it possible that this act of violence would happen in the first place, and that there would be no place for it in school?” It touched our community twice.
Such is the inertia surrounding gun politics in Washington, that it’s become a cliche in itself to write that the usual rituals of regret and condolences played out in the capital after a mass shooting but without any expectation that politicians would respond with meaningful measures to stop it happening again.
The gun safety law passed by President Joe Biden and a group of senators is the most significant bill in decades, but it fails to ban any weapons and is well shy of what the White House and most Americans want to see. Future gun control legislation is unthinkable with Republicans now holding a narrow House majority.
Democratic dominance of the Michigan governorship and both chambers of the state legislature will hopefully lead to changes to the law, but it’s still not ideal for Republicans in swing states who want to cling onto power.
Biden, speaking at a conference of county executives in Washington, issued one of his increasingly frequent condemnations of mass shootings, bemoaning “a family’s worst nightmare that’s happening far too often in this country.”
“We have to do something to stop gun violence ripping apart our communities,” he said, and renewed his call for an assault weapon ban that everyone knows had no chance of passing even in a Democratic-run Congress.
Maybe it’s time for people to act, given the paralysis of gun politics. The recent cases of mass shootings have shown a correlation between the state of the mentally ill person who was going to commit the crime and their access to guns.
But there is rarely any concentrated effort from Republicans in Washington to spend the vast amounts of money needed to overhaul mental health services. Republican governors and Legislatures are relaxing gun laws so that they are more likely to make it easier to obtain weapons.
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The father and son lived together in a small house in Michigan. After the shooting, about 30 police officers went to the father’s house to look at his son’s bedroom.
Despite the deadlocked debates over guns rights and gun control, more pro-active action by loved ones and others might allow some red flag laws that could see weapons taken from the mentally ill to work. A former FBI senior official and active shooter expert said people who see relatives mentally need to act.
“We have to follow through, we have to report stuff,” she told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “It’s the ‘see something, say something’ that has prevented us having the terrorist events in the United States. We have to do the same thing when we are in these situations.
If he was convicted of the felony count of carrying a concealed weapon, he would not be allowed to buy a gun.
While it’s not clear why McRae might have planned to target schools in New Jersey, police in Ewing said the “investigation revealed that McRae had a history of mental health issues.”
According to a source familiar with the investigation, there are 20 people who will carry out the shootings and it was claimed in a letter by a New Jersey born man.
Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel said that there were a lot of unanswered questions about the shooter.
There is a person with recent convictions who is in the same area. We know that he had his probation extended a couple of times and not sure why, and I’d like to know that,” Nessel said.
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The mass shooting also left five other students in critical condition. There is a verified account for the National HEP/CAMP Association, and it says that a student namedGuadalupeHuapilla-Pelz is among the wounded.
After the first shots were fired a call led to the suspect. Police said the tipster pointed them to the gunman’s location 17 minutes after they released surveillance photos of him.
The shooter’s residence was searched by the authorities but they are still not sure if it was his home or something else.
EastLansing Mayor Ron bacon said, “We now have a complete generation that has grown up with this, many times over.” They live with it all the time.
When gunfire broke out at Oxford High School in November 2021, Emma hid inside the band hall of Oxford High School where others had barricaded the door. The students eventually fled out of an exterior door to a store in the area, her father Matt Riddle said.
One student tried to help the injured with his shirt while others tended to the shattered window, according to Papoulias.
And Verner, a graduate of Clawson Public Schools, was “everything you’d want a student to be,” school district Superintendent Billy Shellenbarger said.
Anthony McRae – a Spartan student killed in the act of shooting up MSU, according to a statement on Twitter
“As the leader of his chapter, Brian was a great friend to his Phi Delt brothers, the Greek community at Michigan State, and those he interacted with on campus,” the statement said.
Anderson was studying to become a doctor, her aunt Chandra Davis posted on Instagram. She was doing what she was supposed to be doing and yet she was taken away from me by someone who clearly didn’t understand the magnitude of what was about to happen. No mother should have to bury her child.
Thousands of students, faculty, staff and community members came together to honor the three students killed in the mass shooting by gathering around a landmark rock that says “Always a Spartan.”
The governor said that they shouldn’t have to live like that. “We shouldn’t have to subconsciously scan every room for an exit, go through the grim exercise of figuring out who our last call would be to.”
Tom Izzo told the students to let themselves show their emotions as they grieve the death of their friend.
A two-page note found in McRae’s backpack begins, “Hi, my name is Anthony McRae” and goes on to say, “I will be shooting up MSU,” law enforcement officials who have access to the note told CNN.
Law enforcement officials said that the businesses listed on the letter were warned, but that there was no credibility to the claims of the leader of the team.
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Nessel added that there is no universal background checks in Michigan. “We have very little in the way of legislation that would prevent a person from possessing a gun, owning a gun, coming into contact with a weapon.”
McRae then went on to purchase two guns in 2021 in Michigan, a law enforcement source said. One was a Taurus pistol, and the other was a Hi-Point 9 mm pistol, according to the source.
Dana Nessel said it wasn’t clear if the weapon used in Monday night’s tragedy was purchased legally or not, as she has two sons at the university.
“Somebody who is having mental health issues, somebody who just had been illegally possessing a gun, and look how easy it was for him to obtain a weapon even in the wake of all that, something’s gotta change,” Nessel said.
At Wednesday’s vigil, the speakers honored the three students lost in the shooting. They remembered their smiles, their kindness, their sense of humor and the dreams they had.
“The time away from work for her family, the long recovery road ahead, and the subsequent medical expenses to care for Guadalupe, will place both an emotional and financial a burden on her family,” the organization said on Facebook.
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“There will never be a return to normal. The event has changed what will feel like forever. But that’s okay,” Kovach said. There is one thing that I love about the Spartans and it is that they come together in times of need.
The department said that security was provided to allow the police to grieve.
Athletic events, some of which were postponed or canceled due to the shooting, are scheduled to resume this weekend and classes will recommence Monday, university officials announced.
“Athletics can be a rallying point for a community in need of healing, a fact many of our student-athletes have mentioned to me,” MSU Vice President and Director of Athletics Alan Haller said in a statement Thursday. The opportunity to speak for our entire community has never felt better.
Student athletes may opt out of participating, Haller said, explaining, “there are some who aren’t ready to return to athletic events. Those feelings are valid.
The injured students are showing signs of improvement, according to the interim President. The Board of Trustees chair said one of the people had been moved from critical to stable condition.
The Masked Shooter, Anthony Dwayne McRae, left Berkey Hall after two classes and was arrested on charges of murdering Anderson and Verner
Berkey Hall will be closed the rest of the semester because of the murders of Anderson and Verner. The nearby student union, where Brian Fraser was killed, is also closed, she said, noting its reopening is still being evaluated.
As the campus transitions back to normal operations, community members like professor Marco Daz-Muoz are still going through pain and shock from Monday night.
He told CNN that he doesn’t want to go back to Berkey Hall, where he taught literature and the madman killed two students and injured several others.
He described the masked shooter as ” something not human standing there.” Daz-Muoz threw himself against a door to stop the shooter from coming back into the classroom.
Two girls, who he later learned were Anderson and Verner, seemed to be in the worst condition and were “lying there in these pools of blood,” the professor said. He thinks most of the injured students were in his classroom.
“I feel like I want to not remember these scenes and not have to go teach that class,” he said. The part of me that is looking for something is a strong need to see my students again, to see that they are alive.
The gunman, Anthony Dwayne McRae, was found by police about 4 miles from campus later Monday night after a tipster recognized his photo in the news and alerted authorities, according to authorities.
When investigators searched the man’s body and backpack, they found two legally purchased but unregistered 9mm handguns, several loaded magazines, and dozens of loose rounds of ammunition.
But the lesser charge, negotiated down by a prosecutor, did not prohibit him from purchasing firearms in the future, Lansing Police Chief Ellery Sosebee said Thursday.
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Law enforcement officials who have access to the note tell CNN that it includes a warehouse, an employment agency, a discount store, a church and a fast food restaurant.
“We found that he had had contact with some of those places,” Gonzalez said Thursday. He confirmed McRae had once worked at the warehouse, belonging to the Meijer supermarket chain.
“In a couple of other businesses, it appears that he’d had some issues with the employees there, where he was asked to leave,” Gonzalez said. It appeared that the reason for the note was that he just felt slighted, he said.
“She was working diligently to graduate from Michigan State University early to achieve her goals as quickly as possible,” the family said in a statement. “As an Angel here on Earth, Arielle was sweet and loving with an infectious smile that was very contagious. We are devastated by the violence against her and many other innocent victims.
“Her kindness was on display every single second you were around her,” family friend Billy Shellenbarger told CNN. He has known Alexandria, or Alex, as he called her, since she was in kindergarten.
“To lose her on this planet, let alone our small community, it’s tough,” he said. It is going to take a bit of time to get back to normal, but knowing her for a long time is a gift to all of us.