MSU Mass Shooting Suspect Identified: Man Who Pleaded Guilty to Gun Crime But Avoided Prison


CORRECTION, Feb. 14, 2023: An earlier version of this story inaccurately described the criminal history of Anthony McRae. The report cited The Detroit News, which issued a correction Tuesday. The text and headline of this article have been revised.

The man who shot and killed three people and wounded another five at Michigan State University on Monday night has been identified.

Officials said Anthony Dwayne McRae committed the heinous act of violence before apparently turning the gun on himself.

McRae, 43, was arrested in June 2019 on a felony charge of carrying a concealed pistol without a concealed carry permit, The Detroit News reported Tuesday.

Four months later, the report said, he agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle, and prosecutors dismissed the felony charge.

McRae was sentenced to 12 months probation in November 2019, according to the News.

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On Monday night, he “shot himself miles away from campus while being confronted by police,” according to WILX-TV.

No motive has been uncovered for the shootings, police said Monday night, and no connection had been found between McRae and the university.

Names of the victims were being withheld until all their families had been notified, the station reported.

According to the News, McRae moved in with his father on the north side of Lansing, Michigan, about a year ago.

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“He’s never done any harm to anyone,” neighbor Megan Bender said of McRae’s father, Mike McRae. “He’s just an old man, minds his business.”

Bender said that she believed Anthony McRae had been headed home after the shooting when he was confronted by police, based on her knowledge of the location where that confrontation occurred.

She told the News that, after listening on a police scanner to reports of the shooting and law enforcement’s response overnight, she “felt relieved” that McRae hadn’t made it home.

The shooting began Monday night at an academic building and later moved to the student union, a popular spot for students to meet to study or eat together, according to The Associated Press.

As first responders officers searched the East Lansing campus for the shooter, students hid where they could.

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Four hours after the first shots were reported, police announced the suspect’s death.

“This truly has been a nightmare we’re living tonight,” said Chris Rozman, interim deputy chief of the campus police department.

Rozman said two people were killed at Berkey Hall and the third at the MSU Union. Five other victims were reportedly in critical condition at Sparrow Hospital.

Michigan State has about 50,000 students, including 19,000 who live on campus.

All classes, sports and other activities were canceled for 48 hours.

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George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Beta Gamma Sigma
B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG
North Carolina
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Business, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics