Police on Tuesday identified the three victims of the Michigan State University shooting. All three victims were students which included a 19-year-old aspiring surgeon and an athlete studying biology. Two of the three victims were from the same town. Five others who were injured in Monday night's attack remain in critical condition, police said.
A gunman, who was later identified as Anthony McRae, 43, opened fire on the Michigan State University campus on Monday killing three and injuring five people. The gunman allegedly shot himself dead after tormenting students for more than four hours. An investigation is still on, with the police still unclear about the motive of the gunman.
Killed in No Time
Alexandria "Alex" Verner of Clawson, Michigan, was named and referred to as "a tremendous student" in a statement from her local school system. Verner, a 2020 graduate of Clawson High School, is remembered as "a tremendous student, athlete, [and] leader" who "exemplified kindness," according to her alma institution.
"If you knew [Alex], you loved her and we will forever remember the lasting impact she has had on all of us," the statement read.
Verner was set to graduate from MSU in 2024 and was enrolled in the integrated biology and anthropology program, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Brian Fraser, 20, a sophomore who will graduate from Michigan's Grosse Pointe South High School in 2021, was also killed immediately after Verner's killing on Tuesday, according to the Michigan State University Department of Police and Public Safety.
According to his social media profile, Fraser was a business student and had previously worked as the head lifeguard at a country club near Detroit.
"Brian was our leader, and we loved him," a Phi Delta Theta social media post read.
"He cared deeply about his Phi Delt brothers, his family, Michigan State University and Phi Delta Theta. We will greatly miss Brian and mourn his death deeply as our chapter supports each other during this difficult time."
The Grosse Pointe Public School System also acknowledged on Tuesday that the incident claimed the lives of Fraser and another former student from the same system.
Later, WXYZ Detroit identified the third victim as 19-year-old Arielle Diamond Anderson, a graduate of Grosse Pointe North High. Anderson had dreams of becoming a pediatric surgeon.
"She was working diligently to graduate from Michigan State University early to achieve her goals as quickly as possible," her family said in a statement, adding that she "was sweet and loving with an infectious smile that was very contagious".
"We are absolutely devastated by this heinous act of violence upon her and many other innocent victims."
Families and Friends Devastated
Five more people were still being treated for critical injuries at the hospital as of Tuesday afternoon. The identification of the three students came hours after Anthony Dwayne McRae was named as the shooter by police.
McRae, 43, had no connection to MSU, and his motive is still unclear. He died late on Monday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
According to police, McRae had a note in his pocket where he threatened to attack two high schools in New Jersey, forcing the Ewing township to keep all its schools closed on Tuesday. According to public records, McRae lived with his father in Lansing. His mother died last year.
It is also not known what he did for a living. However, police revealed that he routinely posted disturbing exorcist images, selfies with crucifixes, and bible verses while ranting about God on social media. He also posted about Satan and schizophrenia.
Police said McRae was found dead with a note in his pocket wherein he threatened to attack two Ewing, New Jersey, public schools, which prompted police to shutter them for the day.
"When McRae was found by police in Michigan, he had a note in his pocket that indicated a threat to two Public Schools," the Township of Ewing Police Department said, without elaborating on the exact nature.
According to authorities, McRae had "local ties to Ewing" and "a history of mental health issues." His mother, 62-year-old devout churchgoer Linda Gail McRae, was from Trenton, according to her obituary, and a number of her family members still seem to live there.
Also, McRae was earlier arrested in 2019 for keeping a loaded gun in his car. He started shooting on the MSU campus around 8:18 pm on Monday night. He first killed two students at Berkey Hall before moving on to Union Hall, where he killed a third student.