Professor Marco Dáz-Muoz of Michigan State University is still traumatised by what he saw last Monday evening when a shooter entered his class in Berkey Hall and killed two of his students in what he has dubbed “12 minutes of terror.”
“Those images haunt me. The images of those two girls,” Díaz-Muñoz told The Associated Press.
Both juniors Arielle Anderson and Alexandria Verner would pass away that evening, February 13. Six additional students would be killed during the shooting rampage in two college buildings by the alleged shooter, Anthony McRae. Brian Fraser would also pass away. Critical gunshot wounds would strike five additional people.
Daz-Muoz and other students are expected to return to class on Monday. Despite calls to delay the return, the institution confirmed Friday in an email to students and employees that campus operations would resume. In Berkey Hall, where two students passed away, there won’t be any classes for the remainder of the academic year.
According to Daz-Muoz, the institution offered to hire a different professor to fill in until the end of the semester. He hasn’t decided yet, but he intends to return and teach next week.
“On one hand, I wish I could forget everything. On the other hand, Dáz-Muoz added, “I suppose I need to help my students pick up the pieces. “I feel that I need to support my kids in developing a sense of significance,”
Yet not everyone in the neighbourhood is prepared for the quick return. The State News’ editorial board said on Thursday that they wouldn’t be in class next week, either in person or online. The pupils wrote that healing required more time.
Students were observed packing their bags to depart East Lansing in the days after the massacre, with all activities suspended for 48 hours and no courses until at least Monday. Almost 20,000 people have signed a petition calling for hybrid or online choices for students as of Saturday. Over 50,000 students attend Michigan State, 19,000 of whom reside on campus.
Dáz-Muoz acknowledges that some kids won’t be prepared to return, stating that some may still be afraid of “looking out the window, at the doors, and over their shoulder.”
Some students in my class will graduate this term. And they want a happier conclusion to this terrible nightmare than how it did on Monday, Daz-Muoz remarked.
The university announced that all students will have a credit/no credit option this semester, allowing them to obtain credit for all classes without it affecting their total grade point average, in an email addressed to teachers on Friday. In the email, interim Provost Thomas Jeitschko urged all teachers to treat each student with “as much kindness and flexibility as you are able, now and in the weeks to come.”
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Interim President Teresa Woodruff stated on Thursday that “we are promoting empathy and patience and creating a climate for all to recuperate at their own time.”
At Sparrow Hospital, four injured students are still in serious condition, a hospital spokesman reported on Saturday. On Thursday, one had their condition upgraded to stable.
Thus far in 2023, horrific shootings have claimed the lives of dozens of people. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were more than 600 mass shootings in the United States in 2022 that resulted in at least four fatalities or injuries.
The shootings at Michigan State University occurred on Monday during the start of evening courses at Berkey Hall and closed by at the MSU Union, a gathering place for students to hang out, study, and eat.
Anthony McRae, 43, who ultimately committed suicide when approached by police not far from his home in Lansing, was sought out by police and was instructed to stay in place for four hours — using the phrase “run, hide, fight” if necessary — while they searched the enormous campus.
They said he was the lone gunman and had no affiliation with either the victims or Michigan State as a student or staff member.
Daz-Muoz recalls hearing “explosions” outside his class before a masked man materialised in Room 114’s doorway and started shooting in the open. Students crouched beneath tables and furniture before attempting to flee via broken windows.
After “one to two minutes” of shooting, the gunman turned around and left, leaving behind “destruction and death in my classroom,” said Díaz-Muñoz.
For Díaz-Muñoz, the terror didn’t end as abruptly. The carnage that occurred in his classroom was “something you saw in a movie,” he said.
Díaz-Muñoz says he has taken prescription medication as a way to force himself to sleep, only emerging from his room “for a bowl of soup.”
According to the assistant professor, he is telling his tale to promote gun control.
“If the lawmakers and the senators saw what I saw, instead of hearing in the news one more statistic. If they had seen those girls and the pools of blood that I saw, the horror we lived, they would be shamed into action,” Díaz-Muñoz said.