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After Michigan State’s Mass Shooting, a Message Demands: ’How Many More?’

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Three students were killed and five others were critically injured by a gunman at Michigan State University late Monday, prompting even more demands to solve the U.S. gun violence crisis.

The Rock—a 149-year-old landmark at the MSU campus—was painted black after the shooting, with “How many more?” scrawled in dripping red paint. “Stay Safe MSU,” it said below.

The shooting set off an hours-long police manhunt for the 43-year-old gunman who was not affiliated with the university. He later died by suicide.

In the meantime, students and faculty sheltered in place throughout classrooms and dorms, and across East Lansing, Mich., during a fearful lockdown. An email from the university directed members of the MSU community to, “Run, Hide, Fight.”

MIchigan State Shooting
Michigan State University students embrace at The Rock on campus, in East Lansing, Mich. on Feb. 14, 2023.Carlos Osorio—AP

Some survivors from the 2021 mass shooting that killed four students at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich.—roughly an hour away from MSU’s campus—re-lived the terror of an active shooter less than two years later. “Tonight, I am sitting under my desk at Michigan State University, once again texting everyone ‘I love you’” Emma Riddle, a former student at Oxford High, now enrolled at MSU, tweeted during the shooting. “When will this end?”

There have already been 67 mass shootings across the U.S. in 2023 so far, according to Gun Violence Archive, a gun violence analysis group. Feb. 14 also marks the five-year anniversary of the Parkland, Fla. mass shooting where 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School..

“Our children are scared to go to school. People feel unsafe in their houses of worship or local stores. Too many of us scan rooms for exits,” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Tuesday at a press conference. “We know this is a uniquely American problem.”

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