MSU students recall harrowing ordeal inside student union as gunman fired


EAST LANSING, Mich. — Dozens of Michigan State students who escaped a gunman’s bullets inside the student union on Monday night time returned Wednesday to retrieve belongings left behind of their determined rush to security.

Most of the students, escorted by dad and mom, pals and FBI brokers, have been pressured to relive the trauma of the nation’s newest mass capturing as they re-entered a constructing that they had fled lower than 48 hours earlier.

“My first thought was that somebody dropped a tray. Then I heard the second and third shot and realized one thing wasn’t proper,” mentioned Connor Dunn, an 18-year-old mechanical engineering student who was sitting within the meals courtroom when the capturing started.

Dunn mentioned he ran outdoors and managed to wave down cops, directing them inside.

He was certainly one of a number of students who spilled out of the student union Wednesday clutching laptops, cellphones, backpacks and different private objects.

“I believed somebody was banging some metallic pans collectively or one thing, so I regarded within the kitchen to see who it was, and all people in there was operating,” mentioned Andrew Strominger, a sophomore who was working within the meals courtroom when gunfire rang out. 

Current and former students from Michigan State University and their supporters attend a rally outside of the state Capitol Building on Feb. 15, 2023 in Lansing, Mich.

He mentioned he ran out a again door to close by Campbell Corridor, the place he stayed till legislation enforcement officers gave him the inexperienced mild to go away.

Though these inside the student union did not comprehend it on the time, the gunman had left a path of carnage at close by Berkey Corridor earlier than transferring on to them.

Three students have been killed: junior Alexandria Verner of Clawson, Michigan; sophomore Brian Fraser of Grosse Pointe, Michigan; and Arielle Anderson, additionally of Grosse Pointe. 5 different students, whose names haven’t been launched, have been critically injured.

The gunman killed himself hours later in an encounter with police.

Rob Calatrava

“I’ve no phrases for what he did,” mentioned Rob Calatrava, 22, a enterprise student. “All people has their points, however he took the flawed strategy.”

After fleeing, Calatrava took up security at a resort, the Graduate, throughout the road from the union.

The campus was quiet Wednesday as courses have been canceled for the rest of the week, and lots of students had gone house. However a number of stopped by the student union to pay homage to the victims.

“I used to be most likely essentially the most scared I’ve ever been,” mentioned Bryce Wealthy, 20, a advertising and marketing main who was consuming hen tenders and nachos when the photographs rang out.

Rich Bryce.

He initially dove and hid behind a desk however ran away as soon as the photographs slowed down. He left behind his laptop computer, backpack and cellphone.

He mentioned he has finished a number of reflecting for the reason that capturing, and on Tuesday night time he went to Mass for the primary time “shortly.”

“I by no means wish to eat right here once more,” Wealthy mentioned of the student hub.

Strominger mentioned he labored alongside Fraser on the meals courtroom. 

“I want I received to know him extra,” Strominger mentioned. “All of us liked him. I favored working with him.”

Strominger’s mom mentioned she and her husband drove to campus Monday night time after the capturing to verify their son was alive.

“We grabbed him, and I’ve not needed to let him go since,” Anne Strominger mentioned after accompanying Andrew to retrieve his belongings.

MSU student Andrew Strominger speaks to reporters.

Some students mentioned they’ve but to return to phrases with the capturing.

“It was simply panic,” mentioned Katie Higgins, who was learning within the constructing when the photographs started, including that she is aware of she is going to heal emotionally with time.

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