MSU students mourn loss and demand action after mass shooting Monday night

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State University students in shock and disbelief in the wake of a mass shooting on Monday, that left three of their classmates dead and five others in critical condition.

“I’m still pretty numb, honestly,” said Julia Wallace, just one of the many students on campus at the time of the shooting.

“Once you got outside, it was just a mad dash to your cars,” she said. “Everyone just started sprinting. I didn’t even turn around, I just started sprinting.”

She managed to get off campus safely, but wasn’t sure if she felt safe enough to return today.

But she wanted to pay her respects, and was one of the first people to lay flowers at the growing memorial at the statue just outside Spartan Stadium.

The shooting hit close to home for many—even those in Michiana.

Former ABC57 reporter Roxie Elliott studies law at Michigan State—though she was at home in Berrien County when the shots rang out.

“One of the spots that was hit was the Union, and just last week I was in the Union, around that time—8pm,” Roxie said. “It’s just so insane that—different place, different time—I could’ve been in the middle of that.”

The deadly mass shooting, understandable, had them ask questions about their safety on campus.

“I still feel weird thinking about a week from now, going back to class and acting like business as usual, getting back to normal, because I don’t really want to go back to normal anymore,” said Roxie. “I want to see something happen.”

“It’s just like, I don’t know when I’ll feel secure,” said Julia. “Because it’s just such a scary thing, and plus with the problems of school shootings and mass shootings in America, it’s something that’s always kinda hung over my head, whether I was in high school or now in college. So the past eight years of my life, it’s always been something in the back of my mind—'today could be the day, today could be the day.’ You never know, and so I don’t know when I’ll feel safe again. It’s hard to tell, because I’ve never felt safe.”

Both of them—and other MSU students I spoke with—demanded action, not words from lawmakers.

“Just something needs to be done. Because, how many more? How many more kids need to suffer, how many more families need to be impacted? It’s just, we don’t have to live this way!” Julia said. “It’s just so frustrating when people see people go through such traumatizing and distraught times yet don’t do anything to fix it when they’re in the specific position of power to fix it.”

Roxie hoped the tragedy will spur more conversation that will finally bring change to the state of Michigan.

“We could maybe really be trailblazers and a catalyst for doing something if we don’t let go of how we’re feeling right now and how upsetting it is that this happened,” she said. “We, unfortunately know everything we’re supposed to do in a lockdown, like lock the doors, turn the lights off, hide in the back of the building put some chairs up if you can. We need to talk more about red flags and feeling empowered to say something, and the people that are in the positions that can do something about it—taking it as seriously as possible.”

Though right now, it’s currently unclear what actions lawmakers will undertake to bring change and help make students feel more secure on their campuses.

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