Shooting occurs at Michigan State hours after gunman threat at CWRU


Courtesy of Carlos Osorio/AP

The Rock of Michigan State University is painted as a somber memorial to the victims of a mass shooting that left three students dead.

Grace Johnson, News Editor

On Monday night, Feb. 13, students, faculty and staff at Case Western Reserve University were told to shelter in place as a man wielding a gun was seen around campus. A barrage of texts, emails and phone calls from CWRU PD erupted, leaving students collectively holding their breath. Buildings were moved to card-access only, and students were all instructed to proceed with caution once the shelter-in-place order was lifted—still, the gunman was never found.

While this was a scary moment for the CWRU community, just an hour after the order was lifted, gunshots resounded at Michigan State University as a man fired at various MSU students.

This horrifying event led to the death of three undergraduate students and five others who were injured and are now in critical care. The three students killed were sophomore Arielle Anderson, junior Alexandria Verner and sophomore Brian Fraser. All three of these students hailed from Michigan originally and are survived by devastated families.

The gunman’s motives are not clear; he was found off-campus a few hours later with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A note was also found in his pocket outlining a threat to two other private schools in New Jersey.

Perhaps most disturbingly, though, is the fact that this is the 67th mass shooting this year. In addition, a number of the students attending MSU were also students at Oxford High School and were witness to another school shooting, leaving four dead. This shooting had occurred just 14 months prior. This also happened the day before the five-year anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, which had left 17 dead and 17 critically injured.

We have a history of school shootings here at CWRU. In 2003, a man opened fire in the Peter B. Lewis Building with an assault rifle, eventually killing graduate student Norman Wallace and injuring others. For hours, the gunman held those inside hostage and the building was locked down, with a SWAT team eventually coming in and arresting the man responsible for the shooting.

While this was not considered a mass shooting, the family of Shawn Miller will have to live without him for the rest of their lives, as will the families of the three students killed at MSU and all the rest of the families whose lives will be forever changed due to the growing threat of gun violence across the country. 

Following this, a number of political leaders, activists, universities and influential organizations issued statements condemning gun violence and called for policy change. NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson stated that, “Going to school should not be a life-threatening endeavor,” and many Michigan lawmakers second that, including Michigan House Majority Leader Ranjeev Puri, who went as far as to say “Fuck your thoughts and prayers … Thoughts and prayers without action and change are meaningless.”

President Joe Biden also issued a statement, claiming that this “should cause every American to exclaim ‘enough’ and demand that Congress take action.” Many other leaders are calling into question the efficacy of gun regulations and demanding a change in how the country handles catastrophe. 

Many universities have also issued statements, such as The Ohio State University, which stated that “We grieve with you and will support you as a part of our Big Ten Family” on their Twitter account. The University of Michigan also released a statement, saying that “We wish for a speedy recovery of the wounded, and we pray for comfort and grace for the loved ones of those so suddenly lost.” The CWRU community has yet to hear from President Eric Kaler on his thoughts on the matter, despite the fact that this tragedy could very well have occurred here just a few hours earlier.