Fatal Shooting at Michigan State Leaves 3 dead


Students at Michigan State comfort each other after a mass shooting on their campus.

Ale Lossing

 Monday, February 13th, hours before the fifth anniversary of the Stoneman Douglas shooting, 43-year-old Anthony Dwayne McRae, opened fire into two parts of the Michigan State University campus killing three students and leaving five in critical condition. 

   According to MSU police, shortly after firing McRae was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. “He had a note in his pocket that indicated a threat to two Ewing Public Schools,” said the New Jersey city’s police department. McRae has no known ties to the university nor the other schools he threatened, leaving authorities with questions. “We have no idea why he came to campus to do this,” said MSU interim Deputy Police Chief Chris Rozman. 

     Much like other horrific shootings at US schools, MSU students were forced to run for their lives. Sophomore student, Clair Papoulias, told CNN she was in history class when “all of the sudden I heard gunshots directly behind me.” “The shooter opened the back classroom door and started firing at my classmates in the back, wounding them. I smelled and saw the gunpowder. I thought I was going to die,” Papoulias commented. 

  Claire Papoulias also told CNN that there were brave students who smashed the window and helped others jump out of the classroom that was on the first floor. “There was a boy on the other side of the window catching people who were jumping out the window. He stood there and risked his life to catch people,” said Papoulias 

   For some MSU families, the shooting brings up familiar unwanted memories. “It was like reliving Oxford all over again,” said Andrea Ferguson, whose daughter now attends Michigan State after surviving the 2021 Oxford high school massacre. “The phone call, the word shooting, shooter, it was surreal,” Ferguson continued. 

  McRae had been previously charged with carrying a concealed weapon years before the events that took place at Michigan State University. McRae pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and if he were to be charged with the felony it would have prevented him from being able to buy or carry a gun. Instead, McRae spent a year and a half on probation. Questions have arisen about whether or not the tragedy of the MSU shooting was to have occurred if he were to have gone to trial. 

   Staff members and students were encouraged to stay away from campus the following day and called all campus activities and sports for two days. According to the university, counseling services were made available on Tuesday at 9 am at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center. “Jill and I are praying for the three students killed and the five students fighting for their lives after last night’s shooting at Michigan State University,” President Joe Biden told NBC News on Tuesday. “Our hearts are with these young victims and their families, the broader East Lansing and Lansing communities, and all Americans across the country grieving as the result of gun violence.”