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Shootings at Michigan State University: What We Know So Far

At least three people have been killed while at least five others are in critical condition after multiple shootings Monday night at the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing.

An hours-long manhunt ensued until Chris Rozman, interim deputy chief of Michigan State University Police, announced just after midnight: “The suspect in this incident was located outside of the MSU campus, and it does appear that the suspect has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It is confirmed that he is deceased.”

There is no longer an active threat and no longer a need for people on campus to shelter in place, as was previously advised.

The identities of the victims have not yet been publicly released.

The suspect was a 43-year-old male who was not affiliated with the university and his motive is still under investigation, Rozman said. When asked if there were any warning signs, he noted: “We were not aware of any threat before this.”

Michigan State University Interim Deputy Police Chief Chris Rozman, center, is joined by other local and federal law enforcement officials while addressing the media, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. (Carlos Osorio—AP)

Michigan State University Interim Deputy Police Chief Chris Rozman, center, is joined by other local and federal law enforcement officials while addressing the media, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023.

Carlos Osorio—AP

“This truly has been a nightmare that we are living tonight,” Rozman said.

In addition to local law enforcement, the Detroit divisions of the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms said they responded to the incident.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer tweeted on Monday night that she had been briefed on the shootings. “Let’s wrap our arms around the Spartan community tonight,” she said.

There is no universally agreed upon definition of a mass shooting. But the Gun Violence Archive, which defines mass shootings to involve four or more injuries or deaths not including the shooter, records the violence at Michigan State University as the 67th such incident in the U.S. since the start of this year.

What happened?

Police first received multiple calls of a shooting incident in the campus’ Berkey Hall at around 8:18 p.m., Rozman said during an initial briefing at 11 p.m. “We were quickly on scene within minutes,” he said.

“There was another report of a shooting immediately following the first incident,” this time at the MSU Union building some 400 meters away, Rozman told reporters.

Rozman said several victims were tended to at both scenes. During the later briefing, he clarified that two people were killed in Berkey Hall, while a third was killed in the MSU Union building. Five people have been transported to Sparrow Hospital, some with “life-threatening injuries,” according to Rozman.

A stretcher is unloaded from an ambulance outside the Michigan State University Union following shootings on campus on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. (Nick King—Lansing State Journal/AP)

A stretcher is unloaded from an ambulance outside the Michigan State University Union following shootings on campus on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023.

Nick King—Lansing State Journal/AP

In an alert sent out around 8:30 p.m., police notified the campus community that shots were fired. Another alert issued about an hour and a half later said the incident was “actively ongoing.” Guidance advised students to “Run, Hide and Fight”—an active-shooter protocol that has been promoted by the FBI, among others.

Police had said there only appeared to be one suspect, and just after 11 p.m. released an image of him obtained by surveillance footage.

Even though police say there is no longer an active threat, the campus will remain closed to normal activity, such as classes and sports, for two days “so we can think and grieve and come together,” Michigan State University Interim President Teresa Woodruff said in another briefing early Tuesday morning. She also noted that counseling services will be made available to the community.

Tuesday marks five years since 17 people were killed in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which galvanized a mass movement in the U.S. demanding greater gun control legislation—a call which has largely been unrealized.

Ranjeev Puri, a Democratic lawmaker in Michigan’s State House, shared his condolences in a statement, adding: “We do not need to live like this” and “Fuck your thoughts and prayers.”

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