Police are looking for the motive of the shooter who killed three people in Michigan state

The gunman also injured five other students before killing himself.

(Al Goldis | AP) Students gather on the Michigan State University campus after a shelter was lifted early Tuesday, February 14, 2023, in East Lansing, Mich. A gunman opened fire at Michigan State University Monday night, killing three people and wounding five others before fatally shooting himself after an hour-long manhunt that forced terrified students to hide in the dark.

East Lansing, Michigan • Police identified the 43-year-old man who killed three students and injured five at Michigan State University and said Tuesday a tip-off from the public led to a confrontation with officers miles from the campus where they are the shooter fatally shot.

Investigators were still trying to figure out why Anthony McRae shot Monday just before 8:30 p.m. at Berkey Hall and the MSU Union — a popular place for students to eat and study. The shootings resulted in a campus lockdown and a manhunt that ended about three hours later.

“We have absolutely no idea what the motive was,” said Chris Rozman, the campus deputy police chief, adding that McRae is not a Michigan State student or employee. He said police confronted McRae before he killed himself.

The dead and injured were all students, Rozman said. Five remained in critical condition at Sparrow Hospital, Dr. Denny Martin fighting back tears during a press conference.

“Our Spartan community faltered today,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Michigan State graduate student, said at the briefing.

President Joe Biden pledged his support over the phone, she said.

“We mourn the loss of beautiful souls and pray for those who continue to fight for their lives. … Another place meant to be about community and togetherness that has been shattered by bullets and bloodshed,” Whitmer said.

Michigan State has about 50,000 students, including 19,000 who live on campus. As hundreds of officers combed the East Lansing campus, about 90 miles northwest of Detroit, students hid where they could Monday night.

Dominik Molotky said he was learning about Cuban history around 8:15 p.m. when he and the other students heard a gunshot outside the classroom. He told ABC’s Good Morning America that the gunman entered seconds later and fired three to four more shots while the students ducked for cover.

“I ducked and covered myself, as did the rest of the students. He fired four more rounds and when it got quiet for about 30 seconds to a minute two of my classmates started breaking a window and it took about 30 seconds. There was glass everywhere,” said Molotky.

“After that we broke the window and I climbed out of there, and then I booked it back into my apartment,” he said. He wasn’t sure if shots had hit any of the students.

Claire Papoulias, a sophomore, described on NBC’s “Today” how she and other students escaped through a history class window after the gunman entered through a back door and started shooting.

“There was a boy in my class and he was waiting outside the window and he was catching people and helping them down,” she said. “As soon as I fell out of the window, I hit the ground a bit. I just grabbed my backpack and my phone and I remember running for my life.”

Ryan Kunkel, 22, was attending an Engineering Building class when an email from the university drew his attention to the shooting. Kunkel and about 13 other students turned off the lights and pretended “there was a gunman right outside the door,” he said.

“Nothing came out of anyone’s mouth,” he said for over four hours.

Ted Zimbo said he was on his way to his dorm when he came across a woman with a “ton of blood on her”.

“She told me, ‘Someone came into our classroom and started shooting,'” Zimbo told The Associated Press. “Her hands were completely covered in blood. It was on her pants and shoes. She said, ‘That’s my boyfriend’s blood.'”

Zimbo said the woman went to find a friend’s car while he returned to his SUV and threw a blanket over himself to hide for three hours.

All courses, sports and other activities have been canceled for 48 hours.

Interim university president Teresa Woodruff said it was a time to “reflect and mourn and come together.”

“This Spartan community — this family — is going to get back together,” Woodruff said.

The shooting came a day before the fifth anniversary of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting that killed 17 people and is the latest in a deadly new year in the United States

So far in 2023, dozens have died in mass shootings, most notably in California, where 11 people were killed while welcoming in the Lunar New Year at a dance hall popular with older Asian Americans.

In 2022, there were more than 600 mass shootings in the United States, killing at least four people or injuring them, according to the Gun Violence Archive.


Kusmer reported from Indianapolis. Associated Press writers Ed White and Corey Williams in Detroit contributed to this story.

https://www.sltrib.com/news/nation-world/2023/02/14/police-seek-motive-gunman-who/ Police are looking for the motive of the shooter who killed three people in Michigan state

Justin Scaccy

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