By: April Carson
According to law enforcement in New Jersey, the man responsible for taking three lives at Michigan State University and leaving five more critically injured may have intended to attack two schools in the state of New Jersey.
On Monday evening, a 43-year-old man who had no connection to the university opened fire on two areas of campus. Anthony Dwayne McRae was then found dead with an apparent gunshot wound due to suicide.
After police spotted McRae in Michigan and retrieved a note from his pocket, it was confirmed that the contents posed a threat to two Ewing Public Schools. Thankfully, due to the timely response of law enforcement, local schools were swiftly removed from harm's way and no longer faced any risk whatsoever.
The devastating events at Michigan State University, like so many other similar tragedies in US schools, left students with no choice but to flee for their lives by jumping out of windows. Claire Papoulias was sitting in her history class when she suddenly heard gunshots behind her - a reality that has become all too familiar for students across the nation.
As parents and guardians of all students, we must remain ever-vigilant in the face of threats such as this. Unfortunately, this incident serves as a reminder of how easy it is for that intent on committing acts of violence to access weapons and ammunition, which highlights the need for strong gun control measures.
The university police have identified the victims of this tragic incident as Arielle Anderson, a junior; Brian Fraser, a sophomore and Alexandria Verner, also a junior.
Last Tuesday, the community of Grosse Pointe came together at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church to honor and remember Fraser in a beautiful vigil ceremony.
None of the five individuals who are currently in critical condition and hospitalized have been revealed to the public. Clawson Public Schools Superintendent Billy Shellenbarger, upon learning of Verner's untimely passing, characterized her as a “model student” - everything that any teacher would hope for from any student.
According to Shellenbarger, who is close to Verner's family, her warmth and compassion were evident from the moment she walked in.
Verner shone academically, athletically and as a leader, while at Clawson High School - she starred in volleyball, basketball, and softball games whilst also leading numerous extracurricular.
“If you knew her, you loved her,” Shellenbarger wrote in a letter to Clawson families, “and we will forever remember the lasting impact she has had on all of us.”
The horrific incident at Michigan State University has been especially devastating for Verner's family, who are grappling with the senseless tragedy.
As the campus community of 50,000 students collectively mourns for those who were killed or wounded in this traumatic event, investigators strive to uncover what could have caused such devastating violence.
According to the FBI, the gunman had carefully planned a second attack against New Jersey schools. Fortunately, this potential tragedy was prevented by authorities.
Hours after the shooting, Chris Rozman, MSU Interim Deputy Police Chief, remarked “We remain baffled as to why this individual would come onto campus and commit such a crime.”
Just hours before the five-year commemoration of the Parkland, Florida tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, another mass shooting occurred. According to Gun Violence Archive figures, this marked the 67th instance in which four or more people were shot (excluding a gunman) since January 2023.
So far in 2021, there have been an alarming twelve school shootings; with the shooting at Michigan State being only the first to occur on a college campus. This is especially concerning considering that just months prior, four students lost their lives and six others were injured as a result of yet another senseless act of gun violence at Oxford High School. With such tragedy occurring right here in our state, we must take action now to ensure this never happens again.
It is our responsibility as a state, to protect those who cannot protect themselves. We must make sure that no one else ever experiences the pain and suffering of gun violence.
With disbelief, I stand here today to address the MSU mass shooting yet again. 15 months later and we still haven't been able to safeguard our children in their schools - a notion that fills me with immense anger," US Rep. Elissa Slotkin said at a Tuesday news conference addressing the tragedy of Oxford, Michigan.
It has been revealed that the MSU shooter was planning to target two schools in New Jersey - an act of incredible evil that should not have been tolerated.
Representative Slotkin stated, “The children of Michigan are tragically living through their second school shooting in the past eighteen months; if that isn't an incentive to do something, then I don't know what is.” Andrew McCabe, a senior law enforcement analyst at CNN added: "This community is having difficulty comprehending why they have been hit with this heartbreaking and all-too-American experience–a mass shooting within their walls." It's time for preventative measures so no other communities ever face such horror again.
The FBI and their affiliates are conducting a thorough investigation into the perpetrator's past to understand what drove him to commit such an act of terror against this particular community at this specific moment. However, as the investigation continues, it's also important that appropriate steps are taken to ensure similar attacks never occur.
Raise your vibration by Billy Carson
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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