EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan State University community gathered in grief and laid flowers at the feet of the ‘Sparty’ Statue Tuesday in remembrance of those who died in a mass shooting on campus Monday.
The sprawling campus of over 5,200 acres where more than 19,000 students live was closed by school and public safety officials for 48 hours Monday, leading to a solemn and quiet scene unfolding Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s still very surreal,” said Devin Fischer, a freshman at the university. “Like your knees are still wobbling, your arms are still shaking.”
The manhunt for a shooting suspect began around 8:31 p.m. when MSU sent out a campus-wide alert, instructing students to “run, hide, fight.”
Authorities said 43-year-old Anthony McRae opened fire first in Berkey Hall, before moving to the MSU Union building.
Some three hours later, police found McRae dead on Lansing’s North Side after he turned his own weapon on himself.
“The suspect’s body was located outside of MSU’s campus,” said MSU deputy police chief Chris Rozman. “It does appear that suspect has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
When all was said and done, three students were dead, and five more were critically injured — four of whom required surgery, according to Sparrow Hospital.
All three victims killed in the shooting have been identified; Brian Fraser and Arielle Anderson of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and Alexandria Verner of Clawson, Michigan.
In the aftermath of the mass shooting, it was discovered that for some students at MSU, this wasn’t the first time they had lived through a mass shooting. For one student, they were also at Sandy Hook. For others, they lived through the mass shooting at Oxford High School.
The mass shooting at Michigan State on Monday marks the 67th such mass shooting that has happened inside the United States so far this year.
Police said McRae had no connection to the university and had previously been charged with carrying a concealed handgun without a permit in 2019.
According to family, McRae also suffered from mental health issues.
The investigation into the mass shooting is still ongoing.