Further details about the Michigan State University campus shooting that took place on Monday night emerged. MSU police have identified the suspect and released the names of the three victims.
According to a Tuesday news release from MSU officials, a 43-year-old man named Anthony Dwayne McRae, who had a criminal background dealing with firearms, was the suspect.
According to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office, the 43-year-old was charged in 2019 with carrying a concealed weapon, a felony charge that would’ve prevented McRae from buying a firearm. He wasn’t hit with a felony charge because he entered a deal where he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor — possession of a loaded gun in or upon a vehicle, which is punishable by up to two years. McRae only served a year of probation and was probation-free in 2021, the same year he purchased two guns — one Taurus pistol and one Hi-Point 9 mm pistol.
It’s unknown if one of the guns he purchased two years ago was used during the attack as well as McRae’s motive. However, police discovered that the 43-year-old had no affiliation with MSU. McRae died hours after his killing rampage from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. When police discovered his body, they found a note in his pocket that police perceived to threaten two public schools in Ewing Township in New Jersey.
The suspect grew up in New Jersey and wrote in his note that “20 of him” would execute the shootings. To ensure caution, the two schools were closed for the day until officials ruled that the New Jersey schools were no longer in harm’s way.
It’s unclear why a 43-year-old man targeted schools, but his father, Michael McRae, told CNN that his son had mental health issues, isolating himself after his mother died from a stroke two years ago. He said he became “evil and angry” and “didn’t care about anything no more.”
McRae took the lives of MSU juniors Arielle Anderson of Grosse Pointe, Alexandria Verner of Clawson, and sophomore Brian Fraser of Grosse Pointe.
Anderson, a 19-year-old studying to become a pediatrician, was the niece of VH1 reality star Chandra “Deelishis” Davis, who posted about losing her family member, referring to Anderson as “Pure in heart.”
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“She never raised her voice past a whisper or gentle laugh,” Davis wrote. “She was a remarkable student, attending MSU to become a doctor. The youngest sibling of 3, the last to attend college of her beautiful Moms children. How is it that she was in class doing what she was supposed to be doing, and yet still her life was taken by a coward who clearly didn’t understand the devastation he was about to cause my entire family.”
Anderson’s goal was to graduate from MSU early to get a head start on her goals.
Verner was a biology student at MSU and was described as a “tremendous student, athlete, leader and exemplified kindness every day of her life” by Clawson Public Schools. Verner graduated from Clawson High School in 2020.
Verner was a league MVP basketball, volleyball and all-state softball player in high school.
Fraser was the president of the Michigan State Phi Delta Theta chapter and a business student at the university. According to the Phi Delta Theta website, Fraser was not only a leader to the members but a true brother.
“He cared deeply about his Phi Delt brothers, his family, Michigan State University, and Phi Delta Theta,” the organization’s statement read. “We will greatly miss Brian and mourn his death deeply as our chapter supports each other during this difficult time.”
The fraternity is raising funds to go toward a scholarship in Fraser’s name that will be given to presidents of the organization.
Five people were critically injured, but only one was identified. Hospitality business major Guadalupe Huapilla-Perez is currently recovering from her critical condition. Her sister, Selena, created a GoFundMe to help the entire family through a difficult time.
Following the incident, MSU students gathered at the Michigan Capitol for a sit-down protest on Wednesday. One of the protest organizers, Maya Manuel, asked legislators sitting on the steps to stand in front of demonstrators and look at their mournful faces.
The legislators were asked by Maya Manuel, one of the protest organizers, to sit in the front of the crowd and see the grief-stricken faces of the MSU students in attendance. pic.twitter.com/IJ9QVa6Oh0
— Simon D. Schuster (@Simon_Schuster) February 15, 2023