Michigan State University (MSU) was rocked by a mass shooting on Monday evening that left three people dead, and five others injured, marking the 67th mass shooting in 2023, according to the gun violence archive.
The first report of shots fired came from Berkey Hall, an academic building on the northern end of the campus at 8:18 p.m. ET. Responding officers found several shooting victims, including two who died. Soon after, another shooting was reported nearby at the Student Union Building, where the third fatality was reported. The shooting occurred just a day before the fifth anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a tragedy that claimed the lives of 17 people. The attacker, who has been identified as a 43-year-old male with no known affiliation to the university, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The Michigan State shooting is the latest in a long string of mass shootings in the United States, reigniting debates about gun control laws.
In the meantime, the MSU community is grappling with the aftermath of the shooting and attempting to find ways to heal and move forward. The university will move into emergency operations for the next two days, according to campus police. Officials have said that there is no longer a threat to the campus, but the investigation into the incident is ongoing.
MSU and law enforcement officials have not released the names of the victims. However, President Joe Biden has been briefed on the situation and is expected to speak with Governor Gretchen Whitmer, according to a White House official.
In a statement, the university expressed condolences to the victims' families and offered support to the affected students and faculty. The FBI and local law enforcement are investigating the incident, attempting to determine the shooter's motivations.
The university has canceled all classes, athletics, and campus-related activities for the next 48 hours. Campus police advised students not to come to campus during this time and said that there will be a continued police presence as investigators probe multiple scenes.
Reports also indicate that some students at MSU are raising concerns about the clarity of the directions given by the police after the attack. In an interview with a local news channel, WXYZ-TV Detroit, some students reported that the directions given by the police were unclear and that they did not feel safe with the police presence on campus.
"I was scared, I didn't know what to do,” “the cops couldn’t give us any directions, the cop’s directions were, run," said Dylan Seba, MSU student, in an interview with Channel 7.
"This community is struggling to understand why they are the latest in what is a uniquely American experience and understanding and experiencing a mass shooting in their midst," CNN Senior Law Enforcement Analyst, Andrew McCabe stated.
The MSU shooting has once again shaken the nation and raised serious questions about how to prevent these senseless acts of violence, and it has reawakened the ongoing national debate around gun control laws.
Many are calling for changes to be made to the current gun laws in the US. The National Rifle Association (NRA), a powerful lobbying group that advocates for gun rights, has long opposed stricter gun control measures. Critics of the NRA argue that their stance on gun control has contributed to the prevalence of gun violence in the US.
”Michigan does not: Require background checks for long guns, have a red flag law, disarm domestic abusers, restrict assault weapons, limit magazine capacity, regulate open carry,” Shannon Watts tweeted on a thread about Michigan gun control.
”Tonight's shooting at Michigan State University was aided and abetted by the NRA and the members of the GOP in Congress they've purchased,” tweeted Rally American, a political organization.
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