Alumni live through MSU shooting


REMEMBERING THE LOST: MSU Students come together to create a memorial for the fallen.

Sarah Woods, A&E Editor

A gunman opened fire on Michigan State’s campus Monday, Feb. 13. The shooting left three people dead, four wounded, and thousands of students questioning on-campus safety. The normally busy campus was left quiet come Tuesday morning as students fled home to loved ones in grief and shock.

DGN graduates Charlotte Hansen and Kendall Hennelly were with friends in Hansen’s dorm when they first heard word of on-campus shots. 

They were in a dorm on the east side of campus furthest away from the Student Union and Berkley Hall, where shots were first fired. However, as time went on, Hennelly grew concerned that they weren’t as far away from the danger as she had originally thought.

“I felt like I didn’t have any control over my safety and I was very scared,” Hennelly said.

The girls barricaded the door, turned off all the lights, listened to the East Lansing police scanner and waited for the shooting to end. Noises of friendly laughter and conversation from just hours before were replaced with a scared hush, neither girl having any real clue of when the shooting would stop.

“At one point, the scanner reported shots fired on the first floor of our dorm, which terrified us all. We then saw cops all around the outside, hiding behind trees and armed,” Hennelly said.

Hennelly called her family every 30 minutes during the lock-down and eventually decided that her family would drive up to MSU to pick her up that same night, even before lock-down was lifted. Hennelly and Hansen waited in Downers Grove until it was safe to return to MSU.

“When I go back, I don’t think I’ll look at some of the buildings the same knowing that people lost their lives there,” Hennelly said. 

While Hansen and Hennelly were experiencing the shooting first hand, their families were following along from Downers Grove. Amelia Hansen, Charlotte Hansen’s younger sister, recalls huddling with her parents and listening to the police scanner during the shooting. 

“It was very upsetting not knowing what was going on. We were all worried about my sister and other students’ safety,” Amelia Hansen said. 

Post-shooting, communities are left to figure out how to build themselves back up after such a tragedy. The three victims of the shooting have been identified and the community has organized memorials/spaces to grieve together. 

“University police identified the slain students as junior Arielle Anderson, sophomore Brian Fraser and junior Alexandria Verner,” CNN said in an article published Feb. 15. 

MSU’s Abrams Planetarium opened their doors to students Friday, Feb. 17 to “hold space for grief, and to offer each other support”, as stated in their Instagram post Feb. 16. Faculty held a vigil at “the rock”, a structure on-campus, and students created a makeshift memorial around MSU’s ‘Sparty’ statue. 

“It will take some time to recover from the situation, but I think seeing the school come together as a community and seeing the overwhelming support from students and staff is what will help not only me, but my peers recover as well,” Hennelly said.