Michigan State University students killed in shooting

EAST LANSING, Mich. (NewsNation) — A gunman killed at least three Michigan State University students Monday on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing before fatally shooting himself, police said.

The suspect was identified as 43-year-old Anthony McRae, MSU Police Deputy Chief Chris Rozman said.

The shooting began at 8:18 p.m. ET at Berkey Hall, Rozman said. The police response was “overwhelming” and officers arrived within minutes. Officers discovered two deceased MSU students at Berkey Hall, along with injured students who were transported to local hospitals.

Police then received reports of a shooting at the student union building, which is adjacent to Berkey Hall. A third deceased victim was found at the student union building, Rozman said. Berkey and the student union were the only buildings where shootings occurred.

“I do know people who were in the union and heard the shots … obviously that’s really traumatizing,” Annelise Deporre, a sophomore at MSU, said. “They had to evacuate. The names of the victims have not been realized yet, but I do know some friends that are looking for their friends, so I’m really hoping they are not a victim.”

The suspect, described as a Black man wearing red shoes, a jean jacket and a baseball cap, was found off-campus hours after the shooting began. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Rozman said.

In addition to the three fatalities, five people transported to Sparrow Hospital remained in critical condition, some with life-threatening injuries. Four of the five cared for at the hospital required surgical care, Dr. Denny Martin. Police declined to say if the victims were or are students.

“This truly has been a nightmare that we are living tonight,” Rozman said at a news conference.

Police are still working to determine the suspect’s identity. Rozman said the suspect was not affiliated with the university, and they have not yet determined a motive.

“You know, unfortunately, I think the motive is the same motive we’re seeing across the country right now. And that is pain, perceived injustice,” Former FBI agent Robin Dreeke offered some insight into why the suspect might have targeted the university despite having no ties to the school.

Police earlier in the night issued an alert at 8:40 p.m. local time, saying shots had been fired near Berkey Hall on the East Lansing Campus and asking everyone on campus to shelter in place. Authorities said they believed a suspect was on foot near the campus.

Surveillance footage shows a man police have identified as a suspect in a shooting on the Michigan State University campus. (Courtesy of Michigan State University Department of Police and Public Safety)

As the manhunt for a suspect was underway, Michigan State Police troopers were seen with rifles instructing people to stay inside and away from windows, according to NewsNation affiliate WLNS.

“As a parent, there is no greater fear than having your child tell you there is an active shooter at their school. I experienced this terror along with thousands of other MSU families last night,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. “While my Spartan sons are safe, I am mourning the devastating loss and senseless violence.  The events at Michigan State University are a tragedy for the entire state of Michigan.  My thoughts are with the victims, their families, friends, and loved ones.”

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she had been briefed on the situation. East Lansing is about 90 miles northwest of Detroit.

All campus activities are canceled for the next 48 hours as police continue to investigate, police said. A shelter-in-place order has been lifted, and students can leave the campus.

Michigan State University President Teresa Woodruff said resources will be available to students and faculty at the Hannah Center, starting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, to help them through this time.

No threats had been made against the campus in the days preceding the attack, Rozman said.

An investigation is still ongoing, and police said they will hold another press conference sometime Tuesday morning.

NewsNation affiliate WLNS contributed to this report.


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