3 killed in shootings at Michigan State University; gunman is dead

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By Amit


  • Three people were killed and five were wounded, some with life-threatening injuries, in a shooting on Michigan State University’s campus.
  • The gunman fled the shooting scenes — an academic building and the student union — starting a brief manhunt. He later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
  • The victims’ identities have not been released.
  • Police said the shooter was a 43-year-old man who was not affiliated with MSU. Police do not yet know a motive.
  • “This truly has been a nightmare we are living tonight,” said Chris Rozman of the Michigan State University Police.

A gunman killed three people and wounded five others at Michigan State University on Monday night before leading authorities on a manhunt that ended when he fatally shot himself, police said. 

For hours, students and others sheltered in place on the East Lansing campus that is home to 50,000 students.

“This truly has been a nightmare that we are living tonight,” Chris Rozman, interim deputy chief of the Michigan State University Police said.

In addition to the three deaths, five people were transported to E.W. Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, where they were in critical condition, Rozman said.

The suspected shooter, a 43-year-old man with no affiliation to the university, was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a confrontation with law enforcement officials in the adjacent city of Lansing, Rozman said.

A motive is unknown.

“We have no idea why he came to campus to do this tonight,” Rozman said.

The suspect and the victims have not been identified. Police said they were determining whether the victims were students or otherwise affiliated with MSU.

Gunfire was first reported at Berkey Hall at 8:18 p.m., prompting urgent alerts to students and faculty.

Shortly after police responded to that academic building, they were called to MSU Union, where another shooting was reported.

Of the three people who were killed on campus, two were found at Berkey Hall and one was at the Union, Rozman said.

As officials searched campus for the shooter, they pleaded with staff and the community to stay away to allow the hundreds of law enforcement officers who had flooded campus to work.

Image: Michigan State University students hug during an active shooter situation in Lansing on Monday.
Michigan State University students hug during a shooting in Lansing on Monday.Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

Students on campus reported on social media that they were hiding or barricaded as officers fanned out.

Three freshman women were in a dining hall when a relative called one of them to tell them there was a shooter, the women told NBC affiliate WILX of Lansing.

They were told to stay calm but eventually blocked the doors, they said. Eventually, a large group left in a rush.

Three students were seen hugging and emotional outside. “Everyone was screaming everyone’s names. It was really loud, really hectic,” one of them told the station.

Image: Students shelter in place inside the Broad Art Museum near Berkey Hall on the campus of Michigan State University on Monday.
Students shelter in place inside the Broad Art Museum near Berkey Hall on the campus of Michigan State University on Monday.Al Goldis / AP

Bernice Rizera, whose daughter attends Michigan State University, drove from Grand Rapids, around 60 miles away, after she heard of the shooting.

“I was just like in a panic. I was driving 100 miles per hour here,” Rizera told WILX. “I just want to get my baby home. That’s it, I just want my baby home.”

Late Monday, MSU canceled all campus activities, including athletics and classes, for two days. Students and staff members were urged to stay away from campus Tuesday.

“Tonight, our Spartan hearts hang heavy,” University Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff said early Tuesday.

She said that after the unimaginable violence on campus, resources would be available for students and faculty.

The FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and Michigan State Police said they were sending personnel to MSU to help campus investigators.

Image: Police officers with weapons drawn enter Phillips Hall at Michigan State University in East Lansing after reports of a shooting on campus on Monday.
Police officers with weapons drawn enter Phillips Hall at Michigan State University in East Lansing after reports of a shooting on campus Monday.Jakkar Aimery / Detroit News via AP

The gunfire affected those on campus who were not near the shooting.

Drew Russ, an 18-year-old freshman from Los Angeles, was watching “Star Wars” with friends at his dorm when a deluge of text messages arrived.

He and everyone on his floor in the dorm, which is about a mile from Berkey Hall, were staying put, he told MSNBC on Monday night.

“I couldn’t believe this was happening on my college campus,” Russ said.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the state was devastated by the violence.  

“MSU’s campus is a special place for so many, and it is now the site of another senseless act of gun violence,” she said in a statement Tuesday. “Parents across Michigan were on pins and needles calling their kids to check in on them and tell them they love them.  

 “It doesn’t have to be this way. This is a uniquely American problem. Too many of us scan rooms for exits when we enter them. We plan who that last text or call would go to. We should not, we cannot, accept living like this,” she said.

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