A public tip-off led US police to the gunman who shot dead three people and severely injured five more — all of them students — during a deadly rampage on a university campus, police said Tuesday.
The suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound several hours after the Monday attack on the Michigan State University (MSU) campus in the city of Lansing, police said, noting he had no affiliation with the institution.
Thousands of students were ordered to shelter in place after shots were fired in a campus building in the early evening, leaving two students dead.
The gunman fled to the students’ union, where he killed one more student, sparking a major police operation as officers swarmed the 5,000-acre campus.
Police received a tip from a local resident after quickly releasing security camera images of a Black man in a baggy blue jacket and red shoes.
Interim Deputy Chief Chris Rozman of the university’s police named the suspect as 43-year-old Anthony McRae on Tuesday at a press conference, saying authorities still have “absolutely no idea what the motive was.”
He said authorities had recovered a hand gun and searched a residence linked to the suspect.
Another five students were wounded by the shooter and remained in critical condition as of Tuesday morning, said Denny Martin, the acting chief medical officer at Sparrow Hospital.
Gun violence is alarmingly common in the United States, a country where there are more guns than people and where attempts to clamp down on their spread are always met with stiff resistance.
The shooting was the second on a school campus in the midwestern US state in 15 months, Representative Elissa Slotkin underscored at the press conference, saying, “If this is not a wake-up call to do something, I don’t know what is.”
In November 2021, four students were killed and seven other people wounded when a 15-year-old male student opened fire at Oxford High School in the rural town of Oxford, Michigan.
“I am filled with rage that we have to have another press conference to talk about our children being killed in their schools,” said Slotkin, calling for action on gun violence.
“Please don’t tell me you care about the safety of children if you are not willing to have a conversation about keeping them safe in a place that should be a sanctuary.”
Around 50,000 students are enrolled at MSU, one of the top institutions in the United States, the bulk of them undergraduates, according to the university’s website.
Tens of thousands of people die every year in the United States after being shot, and many more are wounded.
Eleven people were shot dead last month when an elderly man opened fire in a dance hall in California, where locals were celebrating Lunar New Year.