A gunman opened fire on Monday night at Michigan State University’s main campus, killing three people and injuring five, some severely, before he was found dead hours later, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot, 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 (MSU) Union building.
Shots were fired at 8:18 p.m. inside Berkey Hall, which is home to the College of Social Science and where two people died. Another shooting was reported at the MSU student union, which is located next door, shortly after. One person died there, said MSU Police Interim Deputy Chief Chris Rozman.
Michigan State Police released a photo of a suspect in two shootings on campus Mon, Feb. 13 that left three people dead and at least five injured. The suspect was last seen leaving the MSU student union on foot, police said.
Victims were transported to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. Some do have life-threatening injuries, but no other information about the victims is being released at the moment, Rozman said.
Police believe there is only one suspect, who was last seen leaving the student union on foot. Law enforcement had been in contact with the suspect. The suspect’s identity and a possible connection with the school have not been established, Rozman said.
About three hours after the shooting erupted, MSU police released two still images of the suspect, taken by a surveillance camera, that showed him walking into a building, then mounting a short flight of stairs, wearing a jacket, jeans, a baseball cap and a black mask over his lower face.
“We are relieved to no longer have an active threat on campus, while we realize that there is so much healing that will need to take place after this,” Rozman said.
Michigan State University Police and Public Safety
The shelter in place warning was lifted early Tuesday morning. In the hours after the shootings were reported, police discouraged parents from coming to campus. Hundreds of officers from different agencies are on campus, Rozman added.
“For parents, we understand,” Rozman said. “I can only imagine the emotion that’s involved right now. It’s going to help us, and it’s going to help our response, and it’s going to help us identify the shooter the less people that are on campus at this point.”
“Brody Hall, Snyder/Phillips Hall, Mason Hall, Abbot Hall, Landon Hall, the MSU Union, and Berkey Hall have all been cleared/secured,” police said at 10:10 p.m. ET.
All campus activities, including both in-person and virtual classes and sporting events, have been canceled for at least 48 hours. The school is providing counseling resources for students and employees.
Police responding to the shooting, which began shortly after 8 p.m. (0100 GMT), found victims at both locations, Rozman told reporters at a televised briefing about three hours later.
Rozman said investigators had no information about the motive. He also said the university was not aware of any threats made to the campus before Monday’s bloodshed.
Rozman said three victims were killed and five were taken to hospital, some of them with life-threatening injuries. Two of the dead were at Berkey Hall and the other at the MSU Union.
The gunman was confirmed dead, from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot roughly four hours after the violence began, Rozman said.
“There is no longer a threat to campus. We believe there to be only one suspect in this incident,” he said.
Students, faculty and residents in surrounding off-campus neighborhoods of East Lansing, about 90 miles northwest of Detroit, had been told by authorities to “shelter in place” while the manhunt was on.
The violence came roughly 14 months after a deadly mass shooting on Nov. 30, 2021, at Oxford High School in Oakland County, Michigan, about 80 miles east of East Lansing, in which a 15-year-old student opened fire with a semi-automatic pistol.
Four classmates were killed and six students and a teacher were wounded in that attack, the deadliest U.S. school shooting that year.
Authorities said the teenage suspect in the 2021 shooting, who has pleaded not guilty to murder charges, used a gun his parents bought him as a Christmas present despite signs that he was emotionally disturbed. Both parents were charged with involuntary manslaughter in the case.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer said on Twitter that she was being briefed on the East Lansing shooting.
Alexis Dinkins, an MSU sophomore who was inside Akers Hall, a dormitory on campus, told the Detroit News she heard people barricading doors and shouting, “Go, go, go” as the incident unfolded.
As she and other fled the dorm, they encountered police who told them to go to a nearby bus stop.
“We don’t feel safe anywhere,” the Detroit News quoted Dinkins as saying as she stood with a group of students on a campus sidewalk after leaving Akers. She described the situation as “terrifying.”