zonkeu.com – Police are looking into the motives of the gunman who killed 3 people at Michigan State University. The 43-year-old who killed three students and wounded five others at Michigan State University has no apparent connection to the campus, police said Tuesday as they search for a motive for the shooting.
Investigators are investigating why Anthony McRae opened fire on a university campus and students shortly before 8 p.m. Monday. An hour-long lockdown at an East Lansing school campus ended after he ran for his life several miles away while confronting police.
The shooting happened on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 people and was the latest in another deadly year in the United States.
“We must act to end the gun violence that is dividing our country,” President Joe Biden said in a speech Tuesday, referring to the state of Michigan. Meanwhile, the school district in Ewing Township, New Jersey, closed for the day after investigators said McRae, who had lived in the district for the past year, had a note in his pocket that appeared to threaten ‘those schools. But no credible threat was found, local police said in a statement shared by the manager. The dead and injured in the shooting at Berkey Hall in the MSU Union, a dining and study center, were all Michigan State students. Five are still in critical condition at Sparrow Hospital, Dr. said Denny Martin, who choked back tears at a news conference on Tuesday. “We don’t know why,” said Chris Rozman, deputy chief of campus police, adding that McRae, of Lansing, was not a student or employee of Michigan State.
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“This is still fluid,” Rozman said. “There are still crime scenes that are being processed, and we still are in the process of putting together the pieces to try to understand what happened.”
All of the deceased were from the Detroit area. Two graduates from different high schools in the Grosse Pointe area: Brian Fraser, president of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, and Arielle Anderson. Alexandria Verner, a graduate of Clawson High School in another Detroit suburb, also died.
“If you knew him, you loved him, and we will always remember the lasting impact he had on all of us,” Clawson Superintendent Billy Shellenbarger said in an email to the family. The shooting took place in a beautiful old residential area on the northern edge of Michigan State’s campus, one of the city’s largest at 5,200 acres. Just across busy Grand River Avenue is downtown East Lansing, filled with restaurants, bars, and shops. Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a graduate of Michigan State, said during a morning briefing. Biden pledged his support in a phone call, he said.
“We mourn the loss of a beautiful soul today and pray for those who continue to fight for their lives. … Another place that should be about community and unity is being torn apart by bullets and bloodshed,” Whitmer said. Michigan State has approximately 50,000 students, 19,000 of whom live on campus. As hundreds of police patrolled the campus, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northwest of Detroit, students were hiding where they could Monday night. At 11 p.m., police were still looking for McRae when he revealed himself to the school’s security camera, and his photo was quickly released on social media. A “familiar citizen” saw the photo, recognized it in the Lansing area and contacted police within minutes, Rozman said. “That was exactly what we were trying to achieve by posting this image. We had no idea where he was at the time,” the deputy chief said. Police found McRae about 8 miles from campus in an industrial area, where he killed himself, Rozman said.
In 2019, McRae was charged with illegal possession of a concealed weapon, according to the state Department of Corrections, but pleaded guilty to having a large firearm in a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. He served for 18 months.
A large police presence in his Lansing neighborhood overnight. Suzanne Shook said she has lived in McRae’s cottage for about a year.
“We never spoke to him,” Shook said. “When he walks or rides his bicycle, he always leads and doesn’t look at anyone.”
Meanwhile, the students remembered the terror of the previous night. Dominik Molotky said he learned the Cuban news around 8:15 p.m. when he and other students heard gunshots outside the classroom. He told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that seconds later, the shooter came in and fired three or four more shots.
“I was shooting and covering, and it was the same with the other students,” Molotky said. Claire Papoulias, a sophomore, described on NBC’s “Today” how she and other students escaped from a window in a history class when the gunman entered through the back door and started shooting.
“As soon as I fell from the window, I touched the ground. I just grabbed my bag and my phone, I remember I ran for my life,” he said.
Cancel all classes, games and other activities for 48 hours. The university’s president, Teresa Woodruff, said it would be a time of “reflection, mourning and coming together”.
More people have died in homicides so far in 2023, including in California, where 11 people were killed while celebrating the Lunar New Year at a dance hall owned by Asian Americans. In 2022, there were more than 600 shootings in the United States, in which at least four people were killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Associated Press writers Ed White and Corey Williams in Detroit contributed to this report.