UPDATED: 9:30 a.m. ET
Who is the Michigan State University shooter and why did he open fire on campus?
The gunman at Michigan State University (MSU) who killed at least three people and injured at least five others in separate campus shootings on Monday night has been identified as a 43-year-old Black male. Little other information was immediately released as the school and its students in East Lansing reel from the violence.
On Tuesday morning, police identified the gunman as Anthony Wayne McCrae.
All three people killed were students. Their identities were not immediately made public.
According to reports, there was no apparent motive for the shootings and police said the gunman was not affiliated with MSU. After police confronted him a while later off campus, the suspect turned a gun on himself and died by suicide. The police were reportedly tipped off about McCrae’s whereabouts.
An address linked to McRae was being searched Tuesday morning.
Who is Anthony McCrae?
The Detroit News reported that McCrae is a convicted felon with a history of various weapons violations.
He was sentenced to 18 months in state prison in November 2019 after being convicted of possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle. He was released from supervision in May 2021.
He lives in a 960-square-foot home on the north side of Lansing, east of Capital Region International Airport. The home is owned by his father Michael McRae. A chain link fence blocks off the front driveway.
Megan and Tyler Bender, who live on the same street as Anthony McRae, said he moved in with his father about a year ago. They said Mike McRae, Anthony’s father, is a scrapper well-known in the neighborhood.
“He’s never done any harm to anyone,” Megan Bender said. “He’s just an old man, minds his business.”
But police had been called to the residence before because of the sound of gunshots, Megan Bender said. Megan Bender said Anthony McRae would fire out of the back door of the home, she believed for target practice.
Police said they were seeking the gunman’s motive.
“We have no idea why he came to campus to do this tonight,” MSU interim Deputy Chief Chris Rozman told reporters during a briefing late Monday night.
The first shooting was reported to police around 8:15 p.m. local time and took place in an academic building in which classes were being held. That prompted MSU to send its students and staff a message about 15 minutes later advising them to “run, hide, fight.”
The second shooting took place in a building that contained a dining hall.
At least one person was killed in the building with the dining area and at least two others were killed in the academic building.
A student in Berkey Hall said he saw a classmate shot in their classroom.
“Six or seven times,” Jin Du told the State News, MSU’s campus newspaper.
Du said he was able to escape by jumping from the classroom’s first-floor window.
While police responded to the shooting at Berkey Hall, the gunman was apparently making his way toward MSU Union building, where the second shooting took place.
Black mass shooters are rare
It was not clear how much the gunman’s race factored into the shooting. But what was abundantly clear is that he is an exception to what’s all but become a rule of mass shootings being waged by white males.
According to statistics, just 24 mass shootings since the nation began tracking them in 1982 have been carried out by Black shooters. Nearly three times as many white people have carried out mass shootings in that same time span.
Michigan gun laws
Michigan’s gun laws may have played a role in the shooting.
Michigan does not allow concealed firearms on college campuses or at schools. Although obtaining handguns and other firearms requires a background check, the state is missing several key safety measures, according to Everytown Research and Policy, a U.S. gun violence prevention organization.
People carrying concealed firearms in public are required to obtain a permit, but the state does not bar domestic abusers or convicted stalkers from accessing guns. The state allows the purchase of “assault” weapons designed for military use and does not ban high-capacity magazines.
The NAACP on Tuesday renewed its calls for Congress to take decisive legislative action.
“It is unconscionable that, on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the tragedy that took the lives of 17 students in Parkland, another nightmare has befallen our students, their families, and this entire nation,” NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement emailed to NewsOne. “To members of Congress, I must ask you; How many more examples do we need? How many more innocent lives need to be stolen before you put your sworn oath into action and pass common sense gun safety legislation to ensure that no one has to fear for their life? Gun violence is a domestic threat. Our children deserve to live in a country where they are excited about, not fearful of, their time at school, or the movies, or the mall. Our children deserve to live in a country where their leaders fulfill the sworn oath they took to protect us.”
This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.
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