The gunman who opened fire at Michigan State University on Monday evening, killing three and injuring five others, has been identified as 43-year-old Anthony Dwayne McRae. The shooter was identified after police said they found him dead around 11:35 pm, a little over three hours after he allegedly started shooting.
Additional details about McRae are still to be shared by police as investigators continue to search his home in Lansing. McRae was found dead along Lake Lansing Road, which according to reports is barely two miles from his home. Police are also yet to determine the motive behind the horrific attack. According to reports, the gunman terrorized the campus for nearly four hours as police struggled to nab him.
Night of Terror
According to police, McRae has no known connection with the college and as of now, investigators believe he didn't have any obvious motive. This came as it was confirmed that all three killed and five wounded were students.
The gunman tormented the campus for about four hours, according to multiple sources, while rushing through the streets with a gun in hand and firing shots. This resulted in the deaths of three students on the sprawling campus of East Lansing, which is located about 90 miles northwest of Detroit.
Security camera footage showed McRae, who was dressed casually in a jean jacket, ball hat, and red sneakers, strolling down the street after having just opened fire at two different campus areas.
The 43-year-old gunman entered the Berkey Hall academic building at 8:18 pm and began firing randomly at the people inside. Three other people suffered life-threatening injuries, while two people died on the spot.
Cops rushed to the area in response to a barrage of 911 calls, but McRae had already fled the scene. He was stalking campus roadways as he looked for his next victims as he headed west out of the building.
He then moved five doors down to the MSU Union building, which houses a student dining hall, and resumed shooting at students, according to Rozman. First responders discovered victims, including the third fatality in that building as well.
Insensitive and Without a Motive
McRae finally shot himself dead after officers confronted him along Lake Lansing Road, about two miles from his home. "We have no idea why he came to campus. He was not affiliated in any way with Michigan State University - he is not faculty or a student or staff," Chris Rozman, the interim deputy chief of Michigan State University police said.
A video has emerged that shows the body of the gunman being pulled onto the roadside after he shot himself dead. Rozman said that the gunman was found dead from a self-inflected gunshot wound to his head.
According to reports, officers are at the Lansing home of the gunman. Marlon Lynch, the chief of Michigan State University Police, made the announcement around 12:30 pm that the shooter had died.
"The suspect was located outside of the MSU campus and has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. This truly has been a nightmare," he said.
One victim told the "Today" show early on Tuesday that the shooter was silent when he entered her classroom through the back door and began firing at the about 20 students who were inside the room.
Claire Papoulias recounted falling to the ground and hearing someone yell that there was a shooter after hearing "three or four gunshots straight behind" her head.
"At that moment, I thought I was gonna die. I was so scared," she told the NBC breakfast show, praising other students for heroically racing to smash open windows to help them flee.
She contacted Natalie Papoulias, her mother, who "heard around three gunshots and screaming" some of the gunfire on the other end, during the bloodshed.
"It was my worst nightmare," the mom said, saying she felt her legs would give way as she rushed to get in her car to race to the campus.
"I mean, I feel like she literally like dodged a bullet."
Videos posted on social media showed hordes of panicked students racing across the campus as police attempted to control the tumultuous situation. Students and staff at the school were told to "secure-in-place" after the first report of bullets being fired, according to officials.
The order was lifted later after McRae was found dead. MSU campus will now be closed for 48 hours following the attack.