Footage from the Michigan State University shooting shows students fleeing the scene as they leave a building on campus, many walking with their hands above their heads as heavily armed police walk in the opposite direction.
The shooting began on Monday night – three people were killed and five were injured. Police said the alleged shooter died of a “self-inflicted gunshot wound”.
Police said the suspect was in contact with police before he died by suicide.
The first shots were reported to the police at 8:18 pm and students were initially informed at around 8:30 pm. In text messages, they were instructed to follow the “run, hide, fight” protocol, according to Washington Post.
The shooting sparked a manhunt for the shooting that included hundreds of police officers and prompted the school’s estimated 50,000 students to take shelter at the site.
The campus is located in East Lansing, about 90 miles from Detroit. Reports of shootings came from the Berkey Hall social science building and the MSU Union not far away.
On Tuesday, university police revealed the shooter was 43-year-old Anthony Wayne McRae. His body was found off campus.
Police said during a news conference on Tuesday that a tip from a caller led police to the shooter. Police said they have not established a possible motive, saying they do not know why he carried out the shooting.
“We have absolutely no idea what the motive was at this point,” Chief Rozman said, adding that that would be the focus of the investigation.
McRae was wearing dark pants, red shoes and a denim jacket at the time of the shooting. Large parts of his face were shielded, he had clothes pulled over his mouth and a baseball cap covering part of the rest of his face.
President Joe Biden spoke with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Monday night.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted on Tuesday morning: “Last night, President Biden spoke with @GovWhitmer about the shooting at @michiganstateu. FBI and other federal authorities deployed to support state and local response efforts. President Biden and the First Lady are praying for the three killed and others injured in East Lansing.”
Acting Deputy Police Chief Chris Rozman said during a news conference on Tuesday morning that all three of those killed were students at the school. He noted that at least two people died and several were injured at Berkey Hall.
Police said during a news conference on Tuesday that a tip from a caller led police to the gunman and a search warrant was served on a residence connected to the suspect.
Claire Papoulias, a student who survived the Monday night shooting, appeared on NBC and CNN on Tuesday.
She told CNN that she was in the classroom where the suspect fired, adding that some students helped save others by smashing a window and helping students out.
The 19-year-old psychology student was in a Cuban history class at Berkey Hall when the shooting broke out.
“The teacher was teaching a class and suddenly I heard gunshots right behind me. That’s when the gunman opened the back door of the classroom and started shooting at my classmates behind, wounding them. I smelled and saw gunpowder,” said Papoulias.
“Everyone then immediately fell to the ground and someone started shouting ‘Sniper, everyone get down!’” she added to CNN.
She reminded NBC Today that “at that moment, I thought I was going to die. I was so scared.”
“I was sitting and my teacher was teaching and then I heard, there were three or four, I could hear gunshots directly behind my head and I could see gunpowder smoke or something from the gun firing,” she added.
“I thought I was going to die. We didn’t know where he went. Everyone was huddled on the floor, and I just looked at my colleagues and told them everything would be fine,” she told CNN.
She said McRae left the door open after firing three or four shots. Students began “barricading themselves” in the classroom, she recalled.
“Other students tried to break the window so we could escape,” she said. “One student took off his shirt and tried to stop the bleeding. I heard another student yell, ‘Oh my God, my arm.’”
The students successfully broke a window and were able to jump out because the classroom was on the first floor.
“There was a boy on the other side of the window catching people who were jumping out the window. He stayed there and risked his life to get people,” Papoulias told CNN. “If they hadn’t broken in the window and barricaded the door with the table, the shooter would have done much more damage and taken more lives. My colleagues helped everyone and they were all together.”
The 19-year-old told the network that she returned to her dorm, where she remained until the lockdown was lifted.
“My feet hit the ground running. I forgot everything I owned because it didn’t matter. I was focused on getting out alive. I jumped out the window and ran as fast as I could,” she said.