The Michigan State shooter’s note had a possible motive

By Joey Cappelletti and Mike Householder | Associated Press

EAST LANSING, Michigan — The man who shot eight students and killed three at Michigan State University was found with two handguns and a note with a possible motive for the attack, police said Thursday.

The 9mm guns, dozens of ammunition and the two-page note were found on Anthony McRae when he killed himself Monday night after being confronted by police, campus deputy chief Chris Rozman said.

Investigators said they were still trying to determine a motive three days after the violence on campus involving 50,000 students in East Lansing, but the note was a crucial one.

“Based on the content of the note, it appears that he felt he had been offended in some way by people or companies,” Rozman said at a news conference. “Did a mental health issue compound this or was it a component of it? We’re not sure at this point. We are working our best to determine that as best we can.”

McRae, 43, was the sole shooter and, as a student or employee, had no connection to the victims or the state of Michigan, police said.

Rozman described the investigation as “massively complex.”

The shootings happened Monday during evening classes at Berkey Hall and near the MSU Union, a social center where students can study, eat and relax. Students across the massive campus were ordered to hide in place — “run, hide, fight” if necessary — for four hours while police hunted for the shooter. Some dormitories were a mile away from the filming locations.

Students have described smashing windows and taking other desperate steps to escape Berkey Hall, which will remain closed through the spring semester.

McRae walked nearly four miles toward his Lansing home after the shooting and said nothing before killing himself in front of police, Lt. Rene Gonzalez of the State Police. McRae’s father, who shared the home, told police that “his son doesn’t have any friends,” Gonzalez said. “He sat in his room most of the time.”

McRae was convicted of a gun misdemeanor in 2019, but that didn’t stop him from owning the handguns, which Rozman determined were legally purchased but unregistered.

The students who died were from suburban Detroit: Brian Fraser, 20, Arielle Anderson, 19, and Alexandria Verner, 20.

One of the five wounded students was taken to stable condition at Sparrow Hospital. The others remained in critical condition, but with “signs of improvement,” said interim university president Teresa Woodruff.

According to a statement from the Chinese consulate in Chicago, two of the students are from China.

Classes will remain suspended through the weekend, Woodruff said.

The police briefing followed a Wednesday night vigil on campus that drew thousands of students. Tom Izzo, the university’s esteemed basketball coach and father of a student, offered words of comfort.

“Our hearts are heavy. Our loss was great. Our lives have changed forever,” said Izzo, head coach since 1995. “But with a shared commitment to helping one another and a promise to remember those we’ve lost, we will learn to find joy again. “ The Michigan State shooter’s note had a possible motive

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