EAST LANSING, Mich. — Authorities released the name Tuesday of the gunman who killed three students and wounded five more on the campus of Michigan State University a day earlier, prompting a manhunt that ended with a confrontation with police and his death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Michigan State University Interim Deputy Police Chief Chris Rozman, speaking at a briefing Tuesday, said authorities received multiple calls of a shooting at Berkey Hall, an academic building, at around 8:18 p.m.
“There was an absolutely overwhelming police response to that call,” he said, adding that officers arrived within minutes. Two of those killed and several of the wounded were found there, he said.
Minutes later, calls came in reporting a second shooting scene at the nearby student union building, he said, sending officers scrambling to that location.
Rozman said the identities of the victims would be released later Tuesday.
Five wounded students remained in critical condition Tuesday
Dr. Denny Martin, chief medical officer at Sparrow Hospital, choked back tears as he described the effort to save the lives of the five wounded students rushed to his building. He said four of the five needed immediate surgery and that all five remained in critical condition Tuesday.
He lauded physicians and staff at the hospital for dealing with the mass casualty event.
“We practice this very often but hope we never have to do it,” he said. “It was a sad but very proud night for all of us here.”
Who was the shooter?
Rozman identified the shooter Tuesday as Anthony Dwayne McRae, 43. Rozman said McRae was located at about 11:35 Monday night in Lansing by officers following up on a tip called in “from an alert citizen.” A firearm was recovered at the scene, he said.
Rozman said McRae was not a student or employee of the school and that no connection to the school had was immediately determined.
“There doesn’t appear to be an connection” between the shooter and his victims, he said, but the investigation was continuing.
What happened in the shooting?
No motive for the attack was revealed. Rozman said two people were killed at Berkey Hall and another was killed at the student union before the gunman apparently fled. Five people were rushed to Sparrow Hospital in critical condition, he said.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers from local, state and federal agencies responded to the shooting “in a coordinated effort,” Rozman said. At one point a line of 10 ambulances were lined up near the scene. Several campus buildings in the area were cleared and secured by 10:18 p.m., according to university police.
Four hours after the first shots were reported, police announced the man’s death. Rozman said officers had confronted the shooter miles away from the shooting scene, and that he died by a “self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
3 KILLED AT MICHIGAN STATE:Suspect dead after hourslong search
Students sheltered in place or hid where they could
Ben Finkelstein, a senior, said he was sheltering in place in his room.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been this scared,” he said. “I’ve been listening to the police scanner for an hour.”
Finkelstein said he was hiding under a pile of dirty laundry in his first-floor room. He closed all of his blinds and turned off his lights.
“It’s far too late for this to be called a wake-up call,” he said. “The sad truth is I doubt we’re going to be the last. Other than that, I’m praying for everybody.”
Kayal Ghassan, a 19-year-old fisheries and wildlife student, also was eating in another building on campus when word of the shooting spread, he said. He noticed other students began crowding at the doors.
Students were worried and panicking, he said. Many were calling their families. “Everyone was running in fear,” he said. “I saw people climbing over other people.”
Ghassan and others ran to a nearby parking lot, where police immediately asked if they saw the suspect and knew what he looked like.
“I was fearing for my life, honestly. I’ve never experienced something like this,” he said.
Contributing: Paul Egan, Andrea Sahouri, Mike Ellis, Sheldon Krause and Thao Nguyen, USA TODAY NETWORK; The Associated Press
Story Credit: usatoday.com