By JOEY CAPPELLETTI and KEN KUSMER
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A gunman opened fire Monday night at Michigan State University, killing three people and wounding five more, and police urged frightened students and others to shelter in place as they searched for the suspect.
Hundreds of officers were scouring the East Lansing campus, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northwest of Detroit, for the suspect, whom police described as a short Black man with red shoes, a jean jacket and ball cap.
“There are three confirmed fatalities. This is in addition to the five victims who have been transported to the hospital,” campus police said on Twitter.
The shootings began shortly before 8:30 p.m. at Berkey Hall, an academic building, and also occurred nearby at the student union, a popular gathering spot, said Chris Rozman, interim deputy chief of the campus police department.
Students were ordered to shelter in place for hours. Rozman urged parents to stay away.
“I can only imagine the emotion that’s involved right now. … We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our campus and all of our students,” he said.
Sparrow Hospital spokesperson John Foren said he had no information on the conditions of five injured people.
By 10:15 p.m., police said Berkey, as well as nearby residence halls, were secured.
Separately, police on Twitter reported a shooting at IM East, a recreational center for students. But Rozman didn’t mention it during a news briefing and said there had been false reports of additional shootings.
WDIV-TV meteorologist Kim Adams, whose daughter attends Michigan State, told viewers that students were worn down by the hourslong saga.
“They’ve been hiding, all the lights off in a dark room,” Adams said. “Their cellphones are starting to lose battery charge. They don’t all have chargers with them and losing contact with the outside world is terrifying on a normal day for college kids, let alone when there’s someone out there that they haven’t caught yet.”
Aedan Kelley, a junior who lives a half-mile (less than a kilometer) east of campus, said he locked his doors and covered his windows “just in case.” Sirens were constant, he said, and a helicopter hovered overhead.
“It’s all very frightening,” Kelley said. “And then I have all these people texting me wondering if I’m OK, which is overwhelming.”
Michigan State has about 50,000 students. All campus activities were canceled for 48 hours, including athletics and classes.
Kusmer reported from Indianapolis.
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