When an alert was sent to Michigan State University students about an active shooter on campus around 8:30 pm Monday night, many of the students knew exactly what to do from tragic experience.
The East Lansing campus is about 80 miles west of Oxford Township, where 15-year-old student Ethan Crumbley killed four classmates and injured seven others just 15 months earlier.
Several students who took refuge on the spot when Crumbley shot up Oxford High School in November 2021 found themselves once again huddled in classrooms and dormitories to evade a suspect in a mass shooting.
Police say 43-year-old gunman Anthony Wayne McRae killed three students and left five others in critical condition in hospital.
Survivors of Monday night’s mass shooting recounted how the latest shooting had resurfaced feelings of terror and trauma.
Andrea Ferguson told the ClickonDetroit news site that she was struggling to understand how her daughter and several of her friends had suffered multiple mass shootings.
She said her daughter had just left class when she started getting messages about an active shooter, and she was “incredibly terrified” as the gunman stalked the campus for several hours.
“I have to say, once the reality set in, she knew what to do — and that’s the important thing is that the kids know what to do,” Ferguson told the news site. “It’s really, really surreal to have to worry about this and know exactly what to do.”
This combination of images from surveillance video provided by Michigan State University Police and Public Safety shows a suspect authorities are looking for in connection with multiple shootings at the university on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023 (AP)
Another parent, Jennifer Mancini, told the Detroit Free Press that her daughter had been traumatized after experiencing her second mass shooting in just over a year.
Ms Mancini told the news site that her daughter had lost two close friends in the Oxford High School shooting.
“She said she had PTSD. She said she can’t believe it’s happening again,” Mancini told the Free Press.
Dagmar Gross wrote on Twitter that his nephew was taking refuge in a place near where the gunman was prowling, just as he had when Crumbley was shooting at children in the class next to his in November 2021.
Students gather near East Lansing campus after Monday night shooting (Associated Press)
Ms Gross, a medical writer, said there were “many” Oxford students at MSU, including older brothers of those who were present during the shooting.
She said in a subsequent tweet that she had been trying to get her nephew to move to Canada to escape the gun violence.
“I’m going to pursue it even more now,” she added. “The words of her:“ Active scaries-this is my life now. It’s normal, every day.
Oxford High students holding candles are moved when asked to stand during a vigil after an Oxford High School shooting at Lake Pointe Community Church in Lake Orion, Michiga (AFP via Getty)
Crumbley was just 15 when he launched a murderous attack on his classmates with a 9mm semi-automatic pistol in Oxford Township school.
Last October, he pleaded guilty to charges including first-degree murder and terrorism.
Another MSU student, Jackie Matthews, who had to take shelter at the scene during Monday night’s shooting, said she also survived the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.
“I’m 21 and this is the second mass shooting I’ve survived,” Ms. Matthews said in a TikTok post.
Ms Matthews said it had caused a post-traumatic stress fracture in her lower back on Monday evening.
“The fact that this is the second mass shooting I’ve experienced is incomprehensible,” said the user, whose username is @Jmattttt, in a TikTok. “We can no longer just provide love and prayers, there has to be legislation, there has to be action.”
Students received a warning message from the university telling them to “get safe in place immediately” and to “run, hide, fight” after gunfire erupted inside popular Berkey Hall and MSU Union dining and study areas.
A hospitalization order was lifted four hours later after police located the gunman, who they said died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Michigan State University Police named the students as Brian Fraser, a sophomore from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and Alexandria Verner, a Clawson student.
Although police have not yet named the third victim, family members confirmed to WXYZ that it was 19-year-old Arielle Diamond Anderson.
The shooting occurred nearly five years ago since 17 people were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Congressman Maxwell Alejandro Frost wrote on the solemn anniversary Tuesday that MSU has “also addressed the pain of gun violence, a pain all too common across the country.”
“My heart goes out to Parkland and MSU today as they continue and begin this lifelong journey of healing.
Furious Michigan lawmakers said it was time to enact tougher gun control laws.
“I can’t believe I’m back here doing it 15 months later,” Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin said at a news conference Tuesday. “I am filled with anger that we have to hold another press conference about our children being killed in schools.”
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a series of Twitter posts that many of the students who were involved in the shooting faced the sad exercise of figuring out who our last call would be.
“They were worried about their lives, their friends, their fellow Spartans,” he said of the school’s varsity sports teams. “We can’t go on living like this. As parents, we always tell our children, “everything will be fine.” But the truth is, words aren’t good enough. We have to act. And we will.