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Michigan State University graduate student in Derby speaks after the shooting

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The mass shooting at Michigan State University is hitting home here in the Wichita area.

Sierra Brauman graduated from Derby High School and is now in graduate school at Michigan State. She lives just across the campus and she said she left class around 7:30, walking past one of the buildings where shots were fired about an hour later.

Sierra spent her Monday night sheltered in the hallway of her apartment to stay away from any windows.

“I was like in my hallway where there were no windows,” Sierra said.

As she was getting ready for bed, she got a call around 8:30pm from a friend wanting to check on her. She quickly confirmed that the news was true, there was an active shooter on campus.

“Yes, sure enough, we had gotten some messages from campus telling us to take shelter in place. There’s a sniper active on campus,” Sierra said.

His parents here in Wichita feel grateful.

“Thankfully, she picked up the phone right away when we first heard about it,” said Sierra’s father, Shawn Bauman. “So we knew, you know. I know that many families were probably not lucky enough to get in touch with them as soon as it started happening.

Finally, about five hours later, Sierra felt safe again.

“We didn’t know the threat was over until 1:30 in the morning,” he said.

As details of what transpired become known, Sierra remains optimistic and encouraged.

“All last night, I was scared, but I also thought, ‘OK, there is peace because I know God is with me,’ and even though things suck right now, I can still hope they will get better,” she said .

Sierra’s father reminded himself not to take anything for granted.

“Every day is precious. Love your kids and love your family and don’t always think tomorrow is promised to you,” Shawn said.

He said this is the first time he has known anyone hit by a mass shooting.

“The first time it hit someone I knew even remotely closely, and then having your daughter is pretty scary,” Shawn said. “You are 900 miles away. There’s really nothing you can do to help her at that point.

Sierra said she was grateful to all the people who reached out to her, making sure she was okay. She said the university had resources and services available to students on Tuesday.

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