At least three people were shot and killed at Michigan State University in East Lansing on Monday night, university police said.
Students were told to “secure in place” while police looked for a shooter who had not been caught hours after the first report of gunfire at 8:18 p.m.
Deputy Chief Chris Rozman said late Monday that in addition to the three deaths, five people were taken to E.W. Sparrow Hospital in Lansing with injuries, some of which were life-threatening.
It is thought that a single shooter caused the violence on two campuses. Rozman said that three hours after the gunfire at Berkey Hall, the man, who police say is on foot, was still at large.
The suspect is a Black male, shorter in stature, red shoes, jean jacket, wearing a baseball cap that is navy with a lighter brim. MSU Police Post A Tweet From its Offical Account Given Below.
SUSPECT PHOTOS: The suspect is a Black male, shorter in stature, red shoes, jean jacket, wearing a baseball cap that is navy with a lighter brim. pic.twitter.com/9blppnX5U3
— MSU Police and Public Safety (@msupolice) February 14, 2023
As soon as police arrived at Berkey Hall, an academic building on the north of campus, they heard gunshots at the nearby MSU Union, where they found more victims.
We are “doing everything we can,” to ensure the safety of our campus and all of our students, Rozman said late Monday as he urged all students and community members to stay away from campus to allow authorities to continue to search for the shooter.
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At 10:15 p.m., officials said that several campus buildings had been cleared and locked down. Students on campus said on social media that as officers spread out, they were hiding or putting up barriers.
Three freshmen women were in a dining hall when a relative called one of them to tell her there was a shooter. The women told NBC affiliate WILX of Lansing. They were told to stay calm, but in the end, they said, they had to block the doors. In the end, many people left quickly and in a hurry.
Three students were seen hugging and emotional outside. “Everyone was screaming everyone’s names, it was really loud, really hectic, and I couldn’t find her,” one of them told the station.
MSU canceled all campus activities, including sports and classes, for two days on Monday night. Tuesday, students and staff were told not to come to school. According to the school’s website, there are about 50,000 students at Michigan State University. The campus is in East Lansing and is 5,200 acres in size.
Bernice Rizera, whose daughter goes to Michigan State University, drove about 60 miles from Grand Rapids to get there after hearing about the shooting.
“I was just like in a panic. I was driving 100 miles per hour here,” Rizera told WILX. “I just want to get my baby home. That’s it, I just want my baby home.”
The FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Michigan State Police all said they would send people to MSU to help campus investigators.
Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan, said she was being kept up to date on what was going on.
“I’ve been briefed on the shooting at Michigan State University,” she tweeted. “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.”
Even though they were not close to the shooting when it happened, people on campus heard the gunfire. Drew Russ, a freshman from Los Angeles who was 18 years old, was watching “Star Wars” with friends in his dorm when he got a lot of text messages.
He told MSNBC on Monday night that he and everyone on his floor in the dorm, which is about a mile from Berkey Hall, were staying put.
“I couldn’t believe this was happening on my college campus,” Russ said.