3 killed, 5 injured at Michigan State University shootings; suspect found dead after hourslong search: Live updates
Written by B87FM on February 14, 2023
EAST LANSING, Mich. — The person suspected in the Michigan State campus shooting that killed three and injured five others Monday night was found dead miles away amid an hourslong manhunt that forced frightened students to hide in the dark, authorities said
The suspect was found off of the East Lansing university’s campus and appeared to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Michigan State University Interim Deputy Police Chief Chris Rozman said. The announcement came early Tuesday, four hours after shootings were reported, first at Berkey Hall and then nearby at the MSU Union, a popular hub to eat or study.
The 43-year-old man was confronted by police off campus before killing himself with a “self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Rozman said. His name was not immediately released, but Rozman said he was not a student or employee and had no affiliation with Michigan State.
“This truly has been a nightmare that we are living tonight, but we have remained laser-focused on the safety of our campus, our students, and the surrounding community,” Rozman said. “We have no idea why he came to campus to do this tonight. That is part of our ongoing investigation.”
Michigan State University police confirmed three fatalities in addition to the five victims who were transported to the E.W. Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. In an update early Tuesday, Rozman said the five victims remain in critical condition.
Rozman said authorities received multiple calls of a shooting around 8:18 p.m. at Berkey Hall on the East Lansing campus. Police then immediately responded to a second shooting in “close proximity” to the Michigan State University Union.
“We tended to the victims at both of those scenes, and there was an overwhelming law enforcement response to campus,” Rozman said.
Multiple locations on the campus were cleared and secured as of 10:18 p.m., according to university police. The areas included Brody Hall, Snyder/Phillips Hall, Mason Hall, Abbot Hall, Landon Hall, the MSU Union, and Berkey Hall.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers from local, state, and federal agencies responded to the shooting “in a coordinated effort,” Rozman said. A line of 10 ambulances was waiting outside the Broad Art Museum.
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Parents say their daughter escaped through a window
Outside Snyder Hall after 9 p.m., Mike and Natalie Papoulias said they sped in their vehicle to the Michigan State University campus from Jackson, Michigan, after receiving a call from their daughter. She reported being in class in Berkey Hall and hearing gunshots.
She told them some students busted out a window and she jumped out, they believe, from the first-floor room.
Their daughter, who they said is a sophomore studying psychology, made it back to her residence hall and was in lockdown Monday night. They hadn’t seen her, but they were texting each other.
Her text: “I heard somebody get shot, mom. It’s terrifying. I could smell the gunpowder.”
— Paul Egan and Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press
Climbing over each other to escape
Kayal Ghassan, a 19-year-old fisheries and wildlife student, also was eating at Akers when word of the shooting spread, he said. He noticed other students began crowding at the doors.
Students were worried, and panicking, he said. Many were calling their families. “Everyone was running in fear,” he said. “I saw people climbing over other people,”
Ghassan and others ran to a nearby parking lot, where police immediately asked if they saw the suspect and knew what he looked like.
“I was fearing for my life, honestly. I’ve never experienced something like this,” he said.
— Paul Egan and Andrea Sahouri, Detroit Free Press
Students react to shooting: ‘I don’t think I’ve ever been this scared’
Ben Finkelstein, a senior, said he was sheltering in place in his room.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been this scared,” he said. “I’ve been listening to the police scanner for an hour.”
Finkelstein said he was hiding under a pile of dirty laundry in his first-floor room. He closed all of his blinds and turned off his lights.
“It’s far too late for this to be called a wake-up call,” he said. “The sad truth is I doubt we’re going to be the last. Other than that, I’m praying for everybody.”
Aedan Kelley, a junior who lives a half-mile east of campus, said he locked his doors and covered his windows “just in case.” Sirens were constant, he said, and a helicopter hovered overhead.
“It’s all very frightening,” Kelley said. “And then I have all these people texting me wondering if I’m OK, which is overwhelming.”
Gov. Whitmer calls shooting ‘uniquely American problem’
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she was briefed on the situation on Monday and asked that arms be wrapped around the Spartan community.
After news of the lives lost and the suspect’s death was shared, Whitmer released a statement calling her alma mater a special place turned into a site of senseless gun violence.
“Parents across Michigan were on pins and needles calling their kids to check in on them and tell them they love them,” Whitmer said. “Certain places are supposed to be about community, learning, or joy—elementary schools and college campuses, movie theaters and dance halls, grocery stores and workplaces. They should not be the sites of bloodshed.”
She added: “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. “
Of the Spartans, she added that they’d cry, hold each other a little closer, mourn “the loss of beautiful souls” and pray for those injured.
The East Lansing High School auditorium, where a school board meeting was being held Monday night, was locked down and people were prevented by school officials from leaving for a time. East Lansing Public Schools later canceled classes Tuesday.
The shooting at Michigan State is the latest in what has become a deadly new year in the U.S. Dozens of people have died in mass shootings so far in 2023, most notably in Monterey Park, California, where 11 people were killed as they welcomed the Lunar New Year at a popular dance hall.
Contributing: The Associated Press