by Eric Cox in East Lansing; Edited by News Gate Team
Reuters, EAST LANSING, MI, 14 FEB. The shooter who wounded five people and killed three students at Michigan State University before killing himself had a history of mental illness, according to authorities, who also discovered a note in his pocket that threatened two colleges in New Jersey.
As police looked for information on what motivated 43-year-old Anthony Dwayne McRae to start shooting Monday night on the MSU campus in East Lansing, roughly 90 miles west of Detroit, they learned that the gunman may have ties to New Jersey.
According to MSU police, McRae had no connections to the university or any of his victims while residing in the neighboring city of Lansing, Michigan, the state capital.
“We have no idea why he came to campus to do this,” Chris Rozman, interim deputy chief of MSU police, told reporters early Tuesday, hours after the shooting at an academic hall and nearby student union building. A neighbor of McRae’s described him to Reuters as “a real hell-raiser” who often fired his gun at home.
The shooting began at about 8:30 p.m. local time, and the entire campus and surrounding neighborhoods were placed under a security lockdown while police searched door-to-door for the gunman. The manhunt ended about three hours later in Lansing, where McRae shot himself to death, authorities said.
It remained unclear whether the suspect was already dead when officers caught up to him, acting on a tip from the public after MSU police had released two still images of the suspect from surveillance video.
The images showed him walking into a building, then mounting a flight of stairs wearing a jacket, a baseball cap and a black mask over his lower face. He appeared to be holding a pistol in one hand, but authorities have not disclosed what type of weapon was used.
NEW JERSEY TIES
Authorities in Ewing, New Jersey, said police discovered a note in the shooter’s pocket that “expressed a threat” to two public schools in that Delaware River municipality. This was among the evidence that came to light on Tuesday.
The Ewing Township police said in a statement on Facebook that the inquiry “found that McRae had a history of mental health concerns.” They said that McRae had ties to the community and that area schools were closed on Friday “out of an abundance of caution.”
Under the condition of anonymity, an 85-year-old neighbor of McRae’s in Lansing described him to Reuters as “a real hell-raiser” who frequently discharged his gun on the property where he lived with his father.
“We’d hear the gunfire all the time, and then it seemed the cops were always down there for something,” the neighbor said.
The suspect’s father, Michael McRae, told The Washington Post his son was arrested for carrying a loaded firearm without a concealed-weapons permit in 2019 and later lied about having a gun inside his home.
MSU postponed all classes and extracurricular events for 48 hours while traumatized students and professors wept for the victims of America’s most recent wave of widespread gun murder.
As the shooter barged into her Cuban history class, student Claire Papoulias recalled, “I will never forget the screams of my classmates because they were screaming in anguish for help.”
According to Papoulias, she reportedly fell to the ground as she began to hear bullets coming from behind her head. “I believed I was going to die when someone yelled that there was a gunman and that everyone needed to get to the ground. I was really terrified “She spoke.
The five wounded students were listed in critical condition at E.W. Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, where surgery was performed on four of them, Dr. Denny Martin, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said during the briefing as he struggled to keep his composure.
“I am filled with rage that we have to have another press conference to talk about our children being killed in our schools,” said U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat who represents the area in Congress. “If this is not a wake-up call to do something, then I don’t know what is.”
The shooting took place about 30 miles south of Oxford, Michigan, where a teenaged gunman in 2021 used a semi-automatic handgun his father bought as a Christmas present to kill four students at the local high school.
Monday’s shooting came a day before the five-year anniversary of the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 victims died.
“Another area that is meant to be about community and unity has been destroyed by gunfire and bloodshed. We are aware that this issue is specific to America “During the meeting, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer mentioned that she had discussed the event with President Joe Biden.
Alexandria Verner, a junior from Clawson, Michigan, Brian Fraser, a sophomore from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and Arielle Anderson, a junior from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, were the victims, according to university police.
According to a letter from the district’s administrator, local ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV claimed that Verner would have graduated from Clawson High School in 2020, close to Detroit.
“She was a tremendous student, athlete, leader and exemplified kindness every day of her life!” Superintendent Billy Shellenbarger wrote to families, WXYZ-TV reported. “If you knew her, you loved her.”
by Eric Cox in East Lansing; Edited by News Gate Team