MSU shooter ID’d; athletic events still on hold

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Police identified the 43-year-old man who killed three students and wounded five more at Michigan State University, saying Tuesday that a tip from the public led to a confrontation with officers miles from campus, where the gunman fatally shot himself.

Investigators still were sorting out why Anthony McRae fired inside Berkey Hall and the MSU Union — a popular place to eat and study — shortly before 8:30 p.m. on Monday. The shootings led to a campus lockdown and a manhunt that ended roughly three hours later.

“We have absolutely no idea what the motive was,” said Chris Rozman, deputy chief of campus police, adding that McRae was not a student or a Michigan State employee. He said police confronted McRae before he killed himself.

MSU police identified the three students killed as: Arielle Anderson, a junior from Grosse Pointe, Michigan; Brian Fraser, a sophomore also from Grosse Pointe; and Alexandria Verner, a junior from Clawson, Michigan.

All Michigan State games scheduled for Wednesday — men’s basketball was set to host Minnesota at 7 p.m. ET; men’s tennis team was scheduled to host Drake at 5 p.m.; and women’s basketball was scheduled to visit Purdue at 7 p.m. — have been postponed. Michigan State said new dates for all three games will be announced at a later time.

No additional postponements were announced Tuesday, with the school calling it “a fluid situation and information is subject to change.” The only other home games scheduled for this week are women’s tennis against Marshall on Friday and women’s basketball against Maryland on Saturday.

“The focus for the athletic department today has been the mental health and wellness of our student-athletes and staff,” athletic director Alan Haller said in a statement. “All across campus, different units are doing the same to make sure everyone is getting the resources they need.

“To everyone who has reached out in support of our community, I offer my sincere gratitude. The outpouring of support from across the Big Ten Conference and the country has been overwhelming. It’s clear that although we may compete on the court, we are truly united by our shared humanity.

“At some point in the days ahead, we will return to the field of competition. For some, the games will provide a momentary escape from our shattered reality, but we must never lose sight that life has been irrevocably altered for us all. Our commitment to look after one another has never been more necessary.”

Interim university President Teresa Woodruff said the hiatus would be a time “to think and grieve and come together.”

The Big Ten said in a statement that it had been in “consistent contact” with MSU campus leaders.

“The entire conference is holding the Spartan community close to our hearts as we all try to comprehend these senseless acts of violence,” the statement read.

University of Michigan President Santa Ono said in a statement that “our hearts are broken” with the MSU family and that many in the UM community “are reeling from this tragedy.”

In the Big Ten, there were moments of silence held before Tuesday night’s MichiganWisconsin and NebraskaRutgers men’s basketball games.

The Detroit Lions offered “prayers and support” to the community.

“Last night our state and community were once again impacted by an act of senseless violence,” the team posted on social media. “Our prayers and support as an organization are with the Michigan State community.”

The dead and injured all were Michigan State students, Rozman said. Five remained in critical condition at Sparrow Hospital, said Dr. Denny Martin, who fought back tears during a news conference.

“Our Spartan community is reeling today,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Michigan State graduate, said at the briefing.

President Joe Biden pledged his support during a phone call, she said.

“We mourn the loss of beautiful souls and pray for those continuing to fight for their lives. … Another place that is supposed to be about community and togetherness shattered by bullets and bloodshed,” Whitmer said.

Michigan State has about 50,000 students, including 19,000 who live on campus.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg was used in this report.

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