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One year later, MSU community reflects on tragedy

Mourners attend a vigil at The Rock on the grounds of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. Alexandria Verner, Brian Fraser and Arielle Anderson were killed and several other students remain in critical condition after a gunman opened fire on the campus of Michigan State University Monday night. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/AP
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AP
Mourners attend a vigil at The Rock on the grounds of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. Alexandria Verner, Brian Fraser and Arielle Anderson were killed and several other students remain in critical condition after a gunman opened fire on the campus of Michigan State University Monday night. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

It was one year ago today at 8:18 p.m. that a 911 call came into Ingham County central dispatch. A gunman had opened fire on the campus of Michigan State University. Three students lost their lives five others were injured. Thousands of students, families and community members had their sense of safety torn away.

WKAR spoke with police, school officials and survivors for a special report to document the community's recovery, one year later.

'I held that door shut': MSU professor reflects on campus shooting

Marco Diaz-Muñoz stands in his home office. He's wearing glasses with a dark rim and a black collard shirt.
Wali Khan
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WKAR-MSU
Marco Diaz-Muñoz

It’s been one year since a gunman entered Michigan State University’s campus, shooting and killing three students and injuring five others.

That night, like every Monday before, Michigan State University professor Marco Diaz-Muñoz was teaching a class on Cuban cultural identity on the first floor of Berkey Hall when it was interrupted by a steam of gunshots and panicked screams.

"In one second, you're having this positive and opening minds," Diaz-Muñoz told WKAR. "And the next, lives are gone."

Read the full story here.

'That illusion of protection is ruined': MSU students navigate aftermath of campus shooting

Mourners attend a vigil in honor of the students killed and injured in Monday's shootings at Michigan State University, at The Rock on the grounds of the university in East Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Al Goldis/AP
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FR11125 AP
Mourners attend a vigil in honor of the students killed and injured in Monday's shootings at Michigan State University, at The Rock on the grounds of the university in East Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

On the evening of Feb. 13, 2023, Amelia Nowicki, a sophomore at Michigan State University at the time, was studying in the basement of the MSU Business Library.

“We weren’t getting push notifications because there’s no service,” Nowicki said. “But iMessages come through because of the Wi-Fi connection.”

For Nowicki, it's been hard to feel safe in familiar spaces after seeing how quickly safety can be removed from them.

“That illusion of protection is ruined," she said.

Read the full story here.

How MSU is preserving memorials after campus shooting

metal shelf with dozens of painted rocks, many in green with "Spartan Strong" or the Spartan "S" on them
Sophia Saliby
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WKAR-MSU
Mary Worrall said people leaving small painted rocks with messages of support is, in a way, honoring the tradition of painting The Rock on campus.

In the days after the Feb. 13 shooting, spaces all around Michigan State University's campus became makeshift memorials as people gathered and brought flowers, signs and candles to share in the sadness of the tragedy.

But as classes resumed and students regained a sense of normalcy, it became clear that there needed to be a plan for what do with the thousands of objects left behind.

"Not long after, what I'll describe as my museum brain had to click on," said Mary Worrall, the director of collections at the MSU Museum.

Worrall and the rest of the museum team got to work so nothing would end up being destroyed by the elements.

Read the full story here.

'We heal differently': MSU police chief recalls campus shooting

Chris Rozman, in a police uniform, speaks into a podium filled with microphones.
Michelle Jokisch-Polo
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WKAR-MSU
MSU Police Interim Deputy Chief Chris Rozman addresses media at a Thursday morning press conference.

Michigan State University's Department of Police and Public Safety led the emergency response the night of Feb. 13. One year later, campus police are continuing to process the events of that day.

Chris Rozman, MSU's chief of police, is an alum and has been on the university police department for more than 20 years. He was interim deputy chief on the night of the shooting. As officers helped the injured and searched for a suspect, Rozman was tasked with informing the public.

Rozman spoke with WKAR's Arjun Thakkar about how he and his officers have adapted emotionally since that time and how his department has continued to work on safety on campus.

Read the full story here.

MSU interim president speaks on healing after campus shooting, plans for permanent memorial

Michigan State University's President Teresa Woodruff delivering the school's State of the University's address in 2023.
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MSU
Screen capture of the livestream of Michigan State University's President Teresa Woodruff delivering the school's State of the University's address in 2023.

As the MSU community marks the one-year anniversary of the February 13th shooting on Michigan State University’s campus, WKAR is bringing you the voices of those who were most impacted and those who found themselves on the frontlines responding to the tragedy. 

MSU interim President Teresa Woodruff was one of those Spartans. During a conversation with WKAR's Sophia Saliby, Woodruff shared how she's processed what happened that night.

"For all of us, it has been to bring the voices of those most affected as well as folks from within campus, within the community, and in the larger Spartan alumni network, and those that care about Michigan State University," she said.

Read the full story here.

The MSU Union reopened months after shooting, but support from Spartans came immediately

Green paper hearts with the phrase "Spartans Will" and various messages of support written on them
Sophia Saliby
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WKAR-MSU
MSU alumni wrote notes of encouragement on green paper hearts that were sent to the Union.

Feb. 13 forever shaped centers of student life on Michigan State University’s campus.

Berkey Hall and the MSU Union remained closed for months after the tragedy to give Spartans time to mourn those lost, but the outpouring of love and support to the campus was immediate.  

Read the full story here.

Mental health experts note intense emotions surround one-year mark of MSU shooting

Michigan State University students embrace at The Rock on campus, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, in East Lansing, Mich. Police say the gunman who killed himself hours after fatally shooting three students at Michigan State University was 43-year-old Anthony McRae. Police also say five people who are in critical condition Tuesday are also students. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/AP
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AP
Michigan State University students embrace at The Rock on campus, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, in East Lansing, Mich. Police say the gunman who killed himself hours after fatally shooting three students at Michigan State University was 43-year-old Anthony McRae. Police also say five people who are in critical condition Tuesday are also students. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The Michigan State University community may be feeling a range of emotions as the one-year mark of an on-campus shooting approaches.

Whether you're experiencing stress, anxiety, lingering trauma or just feeling unsettled, mental health experts say you're not alone.

"At the anniversary time, the symptoms can be brought back up to the surface," said Alyse Folino Ley, an associate professor of psychiatry at MSU.

Read the full story here.

Former MSU spokesperson shares the 'emotional toll' of relaying information after Feb. 13

A student kneels where flowers are being left at the Spartan Statue on the grounds of Michigan State University, in East Lansing, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. A gunman killed several people and wounded others at Michigan State University. Police said early Tuesday that the shooter eventually killed himself. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/AP
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AP
A student kneels where flowers are being left at the Spartan Statue on the grounds of Michigan State University, in East Lansing, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. A gunman killed several people and wounded others at Michigan State University. Police said early Tuesday that the shooter eventually killed himself. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

It has been one year since a gunman entered Michigan State University's campus, shooting and killing three students and injuring five others.

On that evening, former MSU deputy spokesperson Dan Olsen was tasked with coordinating communication during the crisis with the broader campus community.

"I was just trying to get into bed and trying to relax before I headed into bed for the night," Olsen recalls. "And then a quick succession of phone calls, text messages, and then alerts."

Read the full story here.

How one restaurant stepped up to support an MSU shooting survivor

Ginny Cheung celebrated her birthday with Danny Cheung last week at East Cafe, just days before the one year mark of the Feb mass shooting.
Wali Khan
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WKAR
Ginny Cheung celebrated her birthday with Danny Cheung last week at East Cafe, just days before the one year mark of the Feb mass shooting.

A traumatic experience like the Feb. 13 mass shooting at Michigan State University often provides an opportunity for the community to help. After the shooting, the owners of East Cafe, a Chinese restaurant in East Lansing, prepared and delivered food to a wounded student.

Read the full story here.

 

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