What we know about the victims in Michigan State University shooting
East Lansing — A suspected gunman who killed three people and wounded several others on the campus of Michigan State University was founded dead late Monday night from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
Emergency officials at Michigan State University’s campus on Feb. 13, 2023. (WDIV)
The 43-year-old suspect was located off campus and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, MSU Police Interim Deputy Chief Chris Rozman said. A campuswide shelter-in-place order was lifted shortly after midnight Tuesday.
“This truly has been a nightmare that we are living tonight,” Rozman said at a 12:30 a.m. press conference.
The suspect was not affiliated with MSU as a student or employee, Rozman said.
“We have no idea why he came to campus to do this tonight,” Rozman said at a 1:30 a.m. press conference.
Just after 11:30 p.m., MSU police confirmed three individuals had been killed in addition to five victims who were transferred to a Lansing hospital. At 1 a.m. Tuesday, all five remained in critical condition, Sparrow Hospital spokesman John Foren said.
It was not immediately clear if any of the victims are MSU students or faculty, Rozman said.
The shootings occurred in Berkey Hall and the nearby MSU Student Union building along Grand River Avenue on the north end of MSU’s campus near downtown East Lansing.
Law enforcement agencies were working to determine a motive in the campus slayings, Rozman said.
“We are unsure of any affiliation that the suspect had to the university,” Rozman said.
Rozman later added: “We have absolutely no information about what the motive was and I can’t even imagine what the motive may be.”
Rozman said his understanding is that there was some contact with police just prior to the suspect shooting himself.
A section of Lake Lansing Road near East Lansing was shut down just after midnight with a heavy police presence. Police set up a tent in the area.
With the shelter-in-place order lifted, parents can come to campus in East Lansing to pick up their children, university officials said.
MSU leaders were reeling from the deadly shooting.
“We cannot allow this to continue to happen again,” MSU Interim President Woodruff said at a 1:30 a.m. press conference.
MSU canceled classes for Tuesday and Wednesday.
“The whole MSU’s heart goes out to the victims and their families,” said Dan Kelly, vice chair of the MSU Board of Trustees.
Marlon Lynch, vice president for public safety and MSU’s chief of police, said the campus would remain an active crime scene for the next two days.
“I can’t say that it will be business as usual, because it’s not,” Lynch said. “… Healing will begin as soon as possible.”
How ordeal started
The university said the first shots were fired inside Berkey Hall at 8:18 p.m. on the north end of campus near Grand River and Farm Lane.
“We received multiple 911 calls of a shooting inside Berkey Hall,” Rozman said. “Numerous officers responded. We were quickly on scene within minutes. And there we did locate several victims of a shooting.”
Police then responded to reports of a shooting at the MSU Student Union on Abbot Road, Rozman said. The suspected shooter was seen leaving the Student Union on foot on the north side of the building on Abbot Road and Grand River Avenue, he said.
“We tended to the victims at both of those scenes and there was an overwhelming law enforcement response to campus to help with this situation,” Rozman said.
The Michigan State Police released a surveillance camera image of the suspect, whom police described as a Black male, shorter in statute, wearing red shoes, a jean jacket and a baseball cap.
Gunshots reportedly were later heard at nearby Snyder-Phillips Hall, where police began swarming the building with guns drawn. IM East was investigated afterward, according to MSU police.
Rozman said there were multiple false reports of gunfire at other buildings across campus.
“Obviously that’s going to be part of the investigation in terms of where those phone calls came from,” Rozman said.
MSU spokeswoman Emily Guerrant initially said there was one fatality from the shooting inside Berkey Hall, which houses the College of Social Science, the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research and the Department of Sociology, according to MSU’s website. MSU later confirmed three were dead.
Hospital: ‘A lot of people … stepped up’
Five shooting victims were transported to nearby Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Foren said. There was no immediate information about their condition, he said.
As news of the active shooter emergency at MSU spread across the Lansing area, Sparrow employees rushed to the hospital or called and asked if they could volunteer to respond to the shooting, Foren said.
The emergency department didn’t need volunteers, he said.“We actually sent most of them home,” Foren said. “We did have a lot of people who stepped up.”
Down the street from Berkey inside the Broad museum, students and staff could be seen sheltering in place inside, wrapped in blankets. One woman stopped a reporter to ask how she could get her daughter out of her dorm. Police had blocked off access to the building.
Alexis Dinkins, an MSU sophomore, was inside Akers Hall, a dormitory on campus, when she heard people barricading doors and shouting, “Go. Go. Go.” So she said she and other students started to run out of Akers.
As they left the dorm, they encountered police who told them to go to a nearby bus stop.
“We don’t feel safe anywhere,” Dinkins said, standing with a group of students on a campus sidewalk after leaving Akers. She described the situation as “terrifying.”
“All I could do is just think about, ya know, nothing and everything at the same time,” said Matayia Newbern, 18, a freshman and sociology major standing outside IM East.
MSU police indicated that Berkey, Brody, Snyder-Phillips, Mason, Abbot and Landon halls had been cleared and secured as well as the MSU Union.
A police helicopter regularly circled over the campus as law enforcement closed down Grand River between Division and Abbot. Several different departments were on the scene, including agencies from neighboring departments, such as the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department, Meridian Township police and the Ingham County Sheriff’s Department.
Text messages were also sent out to students on campus at about 8:30 p.m. Monday.
“Secure in place immediately,” the messages said. “Run, hide, fight.”
At that point, before the shooting suspect was located, MSU police said campus activities were canceled for the next 48 hours and advised people not to come to the campus.
The shooting at MSU comes 14 months after a lone shooter killed four students and wounded six students and a teacher at Oxford High School. Ethan Crumbley, who was 15 at the time, pleaded guilty to the shooting in October and is awaiting a hearing where a judge will determine whether he should be sentenced to life in prison.
Law enforcement set up a unified command post at the Cowles House on campus. Michigan State Police as well as the FBI joined MSU campus police on campus.
At about 9:40 p.m., someone yelled from a campus dormitory window: “Did you catch him yet?”
Nearly 30 firetrucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles were lined up outside of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum on Grand River Avenue in downtown East Lansing.
At another point, two armed law enforcement officers escorted about 100 students down the sidewalk.
“I’ve been briefed on the shooting at Michigan State University,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said on Twitter on Monday night. “The Michigan State Police along with @msupolice, local law enforcement and first responders are on the ground. Let’s wrap our arms around the Spartan community tonight. We will keep everyone updated as we learn more.”
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said she’s been briefed in a Tweet Monday night.
I’ve been briefed on the shooting at Michigan State University. The Michigan State Police along with @msupolice, local law enforcement and first responders are on the ground. Let’s wrap our arms around the Spartan community tonight. We will keep everyone updated as we learn more.
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) February 14, 2023
Police are active at the scene.
No additional information has been provided.
This story will be updated.
MSU ALERT: There have been shots fired near Berkey Hall on the East Lansing campus. Please secure-in-place immediately. Police are active on scene. More information to follow. pic.twitter.com/xa4KlwXJWN
— MSU Police and Public Safety (@msupolice) February 14, 2023
An overhead view of part of the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing. (WDIV)
Police at Michigan State University on Feb. 13, 2023. (WDIV)
Emergency officials at Michigan State University’s campus on Feb. 13, 2023. (WDIV)
At least three people were killed and five injured after a gunman opened fire at Michigan State University on Monday night, as law enforcement swarmed the main campus in East Lansing searching for a lone suspect, police said.
Few official details about the gun violence were immediately available, but Chris Rozman, interim deputy chief of the university police, said shots were fired in two locations – at an academic building called Berkey Hall and the Michigan State University Union building.
Police responding to the shooting, which began shortly after 8 p.m. Eastern time, found victims at both locations, Rozman told reporters at a televised late-night briefing about three hours later.
He confirmed that at least five victims were transported to the hospital, some of them with life-threatening injuries, and MSU police issued an update by Twitter a short time later saying that at least three additional people had been killed.
Hours after the first gunfire erupted, several campus buildings had been cleared and secured by police as officers swept the campus in search of possible additional victims and a single suspect, MSU police said.
Students, faculty and residents in surrounding off-campus neighborhoods of East Lansing, about 90 miles northwest of Detroit, were urged by authorities to “shelter in place,” while the manhunt continued.