By Meghan Morris
On February 13, three Michigan state students were killed and five were injured. The shooting occurred in two buildings on campus, Berkley Hall, and Union Building. The gunman, identified as 43-year-old Anthony Dwayne McRea, killed himself before he was confronted by police. The three dead students are Alexandria Verner, Arielle Anderson, and Brain Fraser. Michigan State University gave students the rest of the week off from school to grieve.
Alexandria Verner, 20, was a junior from Clawson, Michigan. She was studying forensics. Her friends and family say she was one of the kindest people that you could ever meet. She was a leader in her community and was a talented basketball player throughout high school. Her high school super intendent talked about “Verners impact in our district and her impact in our community is so intense and so incredible that the loss really hurts a community like ours.”
Arielle Anderson, 19, a sophomore from Grosse Pointe wanted to become a pediatric doctor. Her family and friends say she had an infectious smile and was a hard worker with plans to graduate College early. In an interview with Us Today, Alexandria’s Grandmother tells us about how Anderson was so family oriented and had a deep love for her special need and nonverbal aunt. She would tell her that when she became a doctor, she would take care of her.
Brian Fraser, 20, was a sophomore from Grosse pointe. He was the president of Phi Delta Theta. Brian’s high school swimming and diving coach says he had a sense of humor that could light up the pool and bring laughter to his entire team. Brains sister reminded everyone in her Free Press article to tell those around you just how much you love them.
The undergraduate student body president at Michigan state Jordan Kovach gave a moving speech to her fellow Spartans reviewing the current events that unfolded about the shooting and gave her classmates permission to grieve. “It’s okay to not be okay right now. No matter where you were or what you were doing you are completely validating feeling whatever you are feeling at this current moment.” She gave tribute to the 3 students who died and the 5 in the hospital.
Many students have turned to their own personal social media platforms to heal and share their stories. One student Marcy Creevy made a Tik Tok video about what she went through on February 13. She was studying in the Union on campus and within 20 minutes she heard noises from outside and received frantic texts from friends telling her to not go inside. Outside was police offers pointing guns to the building. Creevy ran to the only other girls in the room with her to find out more. The scream from the hall saying “Shooter” was the word the three girls heard that put everything into motion. They turned off the lights and ran to another room to put more distance between them and the hall. In the next room they were joined by five other students. Together they hid under tables and supported each other through the traumatic experience. Creevy’s parents’ text at 8:33pm told her to be smart and always give yourself an out. She used this as fuel to leave her hiding spot and barricade the door. In her video Creevy talks about how calm she felt after that text from her parents. She felt she needed to be brave and strong for those around her. It wasn’t until the police broke into their room and told them, “You are okay, we will get everyone out” that Creevy felt she was allowed to cry. “It was as if I was holding my breath for the last 22 minutes and once I raised my hands above my head I was able to breath” she explains in the video.