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3 students and a suspect are dead after Michigan State University shooting

Dr. Denny Martin, the acting chief medical officer at Sparrow Hospital, got emotional while addressing the media on Tuesday following a shooting at Michigan State University. Behind him is Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Carlos Osorio
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AP
Dr. Denny Martin, the acting chief medical officer at Sparrow Hospital, got emotional while addressing the media on Tuesday following a shooting at Michigan State University. Behind him is Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Updated February 14, 2023 at 4:56 PM ET

A gunman shot and killed three students and injured five others on the campus of Michigan State University Monday night before fatally shooting himself, police said.

Arielle Anderson, a junior from Grosse Pointe, Mich., Brian Fraser, a sophomore, also from Grosse Pointe, and Alexandria Verner, a junior from Clawson, Mich., were killed inside school buildings, police said Tuesday.

Five students remained hospitalized in critical condition as of Tuesday morning.

The suspect, a 43-year-old man named Anthony Dwayne McRae, was found dead off the campus in East Lansing, Mich., from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Investigations are ongoing, and, as of Tuesday morning, police have "absolutely no idea about a motive," said Chris Rozman, the interim deputy chief of the MSU police.

The suspect left a note threatening two public schools in New Jersey, police say

The suspect was believed to be acting alone and is not affiliated with the university, Rozman said. Police executed a search warrant on the suspect's residence early Tuesday morning.

The gunman initially fled the scene on foot. Law enforcement located McRae roughly three hours later, using a tip from a local resident. He appeared to have shot himself after being confronted by local law enforcement officers.

On Tuesday morning, police in Ewing, N.J., issued a statement saying that investigators had discovered a note in McRae's pocket containing a threat to two Ewing public schools. MSU police later confirmed that they found a note on the suspect, but declined to share what it contained.

Ewing police said McRae had local ties to the township, which is roughly 670 miles southeast of East Lansing by car.

Ewing public schools were closed on Tuesday out of an abundance of caution, the local superintendent said in a statement. Classes are set to resume Wednesday.

Michigan State Police released a photo of a suspect in two shootings on campus Mon, Feb. 13 that left three people dead and at least five injured. The suspect was last seen leaving the MSU student union on foot, police said.
/ Michigan State University Police and Public Safety
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Michigan State University Police and Public Safety
Michigan State Police released a photo of a suspect in two shootings on campus Monday that left three people dead and at least five injured. The suspect was last seen leaving the MSU student union on foot, police said.

All of the victims were students of the university

The shooting began around 8:18 p.m. ET on Monday inside Berkey Hall, which is home to the College of Social Science. Responding officers found two students dead at the scene.

Another shooting was reported shortly afterward at the MSU student union, which is located next door and is a gathering point for students. One student was killed there, Rozman said. Both Berkey Hall and the student union building are open to the public during business hours, police said.

Hundreds of officers from different agencies responded to the scene, police said. Victims were transported to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.

Michigan State University students hug on Monday evening, after eight students were shot on campus.
Bill Pugliano / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Michigan State University students hug on Monday evening, after eight students were shot on campus.

They were still in critical condition as of Tuesday morning and four had required surgical intervention, said Dr. Denny Martin, the acting chief medical officer at Sparrow Hospital.

Police confirmed on Tuesday morning that all of the shooting victims were students.

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.

All campus activities, including both in-person and virtual classes and sporting events, have been canceled for at least 48 hours. The school is providing counseling resources for students and employees.

There have been more mass shooting than days so far in 2023

People are seen inside the Broad Art Museum near Berkey Hall on the campus of Michigan State University as they shelter in place, late Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, in East Lansing, Mich.
Al Goldis / AP
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AP
People are seen inside the Broad Art Museum near Berkey Hall on the campus of Michigan State University as they shelter in place, late Monday, in East Lansing, Mich.

Monday's shooting is the 67th so far in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive, an independent data collection organization. The group defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot or killed, excluding the shooter. Nearly 650 mass shootings took place in the country in 2022, according to the group.

During a Tuesday morning press conference, lawmakers including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Rep. Elissa Slotkin and East Lansing Mayor Ron Bacon called for an end to gun violence.

According to local news reports, least one student who sheltered in place on MSU's campus Tuesday wasa survivor of the Oxford High School shooting that occurred in a nearby town in November 2021.

"As a representative of Oxford, Michigan, I cannot believe I am here again, doing this 15 months later. I am filled with rage that we have to have another press conference to talk about children being killed in their schools," Slotkin said.

"I would say that you either care about protecting kids or you don't. You care about having an open and honest conversation about what's going on in our society or you don't."

Speaking at the National Association of Counties on Tuesday, President Biden said shootings were happening "far too often in this country."

"While we gather more information, there's one thing we do know to be true. We have to do something to stop gun violence from ripping apart our communities," he said, reiterating his call for Congress to pass an assault weapons ban.

Biden also noted that Tuesday is the five-year anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Teresa Woodruff, MSU's interim president, said early Tuesday that support will be provided for the 17,000 university students who attend classes at MSU's East Lansing campus, as well as faculty and staff.

"We're devastated with the loss of life and we want to wrap our arms around every family touched by this tragedy," she said.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

James Doubek is an associate editor and reporter for NPR. He frequently covers breaking news for NPR.org and NPR's hourly newscast. In 2018, he reported feature stories for NPR's business desk on topics including electric scooters, cryptocurrency, and small business owners who lost out when Amazon made a deal with Apple.
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