A Michigan State University Alert Notification involving a person seen on campus carrying a knife was emailed to students on March 22 at 12:59 p.m. According to the alert, the suspect was at or close to West Circle Drive, and those in the area were advised to “secure-in-place.” The suspect was described by witnesses as a “tall light skinned Native American male, in his 30s, wearing a grayish colored hoodie, with a black mask, black pants and beige coat.”
Following the initial alert notification, there was a second alert, sent at 1:20 p.m., stating that the initial assault had taken place off-campus and that the subject had not yet been located by authorities. Even then, the secure in place order had been lifted and there was no longer an “imminent threat to campus,” according to the second alert notification.
A third update, which was delivered at 1:25 p.m., stated that East Lansing Police had located the individual and had detained him.
This might not have been as noteworthy on another occasion, but the alert messages followed the shooting tragedy that occurred on the Michigan State University campus on Feb. 13 and claimed the lives of three students.
Parents of MSU Michigan State students were also worried when hearing about the notification sent to students, including Tracey McNeil, an MSU alumna with a daughter currently enrolled at the university.
“With anything as an alert about what could be dangerous as a parent makes your heart stop. The first thing you think about is what recently happened. As a parent, you have to think, is there any safe place for my child? When you send your children off to school you never think about them not being in a safe environment. All I can really do is pray for my children to be safe from danger,” said McNeil.
Students also felt triggered emotionally following the message sent out as well, including Brandon Foster, a communications major.
“It was definitely triggering to get that email. Throughout the past almost two months, our campus has been fractured due to the incident on Feb 13. I just want to be able to feel safe in the place that I call home,” said Foster.
The recent tragedy on campus has had an impact on the entire MSU community, and individuals who have been affected are encouraged to visit https://msu.edu/emergency/resources for additional assistance.
Please visit https://alert.msu.edu for information if you have any questions concerning the MSU Alert system.