Tragedy at Michigan State University: President Biden Calls for Renewed Assault Weapons Ban
On Monday night, Michigan State University was the scene of a horrific tragedy when a gunman opened fire on campus, killing three people and wounding five more. The shooter, identified as Anthony McRae, was later found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
MSU police announced the cancellation of all campus activities for 48 hours, including athletics, classes, and all campus-related activities. East Lansing Public Schools also closed schools for the day as the situation was assessed, while MSU police urged people not to come to campus on Tuesday.
McRae had a history with firearms, having been arrested in June of 2019 and initially charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, a felony. He eventually admitted to a lesser charge of possessing a loaded firearm and received probation for a year and a half. A surveillance camera image of McRae was released, showing him wearing a denim jacket, a navy baseball cap, and red trainers.
The shooting took place inside Berkey Hall and the nearby MSU Student Union building along Grand River Avenue on the north end of MSU's campus near downtown East Lansing. The victims, identified as Brian Fraser, a sophomore from Grosse Point and Alexandria Verner, a junior from Clawson, were both students. In respect for the victim's family, the school is not identifying the third victim.
The tragedy has prompted a response from President Joe Biden, who said he and the First Lady were praying for the victims, their families, and the MSU community. He also called for lawmakers to renew an assault weapons ban, noting that the incident occurred the day before the fifth anniversary of the killing of 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The families of both victims expressed their grief and love for their lost children. Superintendent Billy Shellenbarger of Clawson Public Schools described Verner as a “tremendous student, athlete, leader and exemplified kindness every day of her life!”
The Michigan State Police, local law enforcement, and first responders are on the ground and have secured the MSU Union and other affected buildings. Meanwhile, a court document shows that McRae was sentenced to probation in 2019, which was later extended to a year and a half. He was discharged from probation in May 2021.
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