© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

One of the students injured in MSU shooting is the daughter of migrant farm workers

Guadalupe Huapilla-Perez is a brown skinned person. She's has black hair and dark colored eyes. In the photo she's wearing a black suit jacket with her dark curly hair down. She's smiling in the photo.
Selena Huapilla-Perez
Guadalupe Huapilla-Perez is one of the five Michigan State University students who were injured in a mass shooting on campus Monday.

Wednesday night, the community of East Lansing and the surrounding area gathered at a vigil to honor the students killed and wounded in a mass shooting on Michigan State University's campus on Monday. Three students were killed. Five others remain hospitalized. One of those struggling to recover is the child of migrant workers.

On Monday, 21-year-old Guadalupe Huapilla-Perez was one of the students caught in the crossfire of the gunman responsible for the mass shooting. She is a junior studying hospitality and business. Her close friends call her Lupe, or, Lupita.

Leeslie Herrera is one of her friends. The two met through MSU’s College Assistance Migrant Program, or CAMP. It's a program that specializes in supporting children of migrant farmworkers attending college.

Herrera says she found out in the early morning hours on Tuesday that Lupe was one of the victims and was hospitalized.

“She underwent surgery and is now stable,” she said.

Herrera says the CAMP community on campus is really tight knit and is struggling to come to terms with what happened this week.

“I know a lot of us are really glad that we made it out safe and in time.”

But she also says they are also really sorry about all the others who didn’t.

Sparrow Hospital spokesperson John Foren says Lupe and the others four students who survived the shooting remain in critical condition.

In a GoFundMe page set up to support Lupe, her older sister Selena describes her as incredibly hard-working, focused and ambitious. She says Lupe chose a career path that’s never been explored by someone in her family.

At MSU, Lupe is a student leader involved with the group Native American and Hispanic Business Students.

“It (Lupe’s career) allows her to travel, learn, and challenge herself. She's always one to stand up for our community and speak out for those marginalized voices like our own,” her sister wrote online.

The Huapilla-Perez family lives in south Florida but during crop harvesting season they travel across the country to pick fruits and vegetables. Lupe grew up doing that work.

The director of CAMP at Michigan State, Luis Garcia, says students like Lupe often have the additional responsibility of working several jobs while going to school to try and support their families back home.

“If you tell students what distinguishes a CAMP scholar from a regular [one], you'll find that many of our students are sending money home,” he said. “On the contrary, the general student body is receiving funds from home.”

Now the Huapilla-Perez family is facing a harsh financial reality. Doctors have told them that the process for Lupe’s full recovery could take months of care and rehabilitation. Because Lupe doesn’t have health insurance, the entire costs of her care would fall on her family.

That’s why the family set up the GoFundMe page. As of Wednesday afternoon, the family had raised nearly $300,000 dollars. MSU’s CAMP office is also working to support the family with any additional expenses.

Lupe’s family arrived in the Lansing area Wednesday and plan to stay until she is released from the hospital.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!