What we know about the MSU shooting victims

Students place flowers at a memorial on campus two days after a shooting at Michigan State University. (Dieu-Nalio Chery for The Washington Post)
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Three Michigan State University students were killed Monday evening when a 43-year-old man opened fire at two locations on the East Lansing campus, forcing nearly 50,000 students to shelter in place for more than three hours.

The university identified the students killed as junior Alexandria Verner, junior Arielle Diamond Anderson and sophomore Brian Fraser. Five other victims are being treated at a hospital.

Here’s what we know so far about the people killed.

Alexandria Verner

Verner, a junior at MSU, was a three-sport high school athlete whom her father described as a “beautiful soul.”

She played basketball, volleyball and softball all four years of high school, her father, Ted Verner, said. He said the girls’ basketball team at her alma mater, Detroit-area Clawson High School, plans to show a tribute to Alex Verner on Tuesday evening.

“It’s going to be my mission in life to make sure that families don’t go what we went through,” Ted Verner said of his loss.

Verner, 20, graduated from Clawson High in 2020 and was known as a “tremendous student, athlete, [and] leader,” Clawson Public Schools Superintendent Billy Shellenbarger wrote in a letter to the district community. Verner exemplified kindness, he wrote, and is mourned by her parents, her sister and her brother.

“Alex was and is incredibly loved by everyone,” Shellenbarger wrote. “If you knew her, you loved her and we will forever remember the lasting impact she has had on all of us.”

Arielle Anderson

Arielle Anderson was a junior at MSU. She graduated from Grosse Pointe North High School and wanted to be a pediatrician one day, a family member told ABC affiliate WXYZ. Anderson’s uncle, Tim Davis, described her as kindhearted.

“She was just sweet and innocent,” Davis told the Detroit News. “She was soft-spoken, always helpful. In my opinion, she was just perfect the way she conducted herself. She had great manners and was respectful. She was very smart, a straight-A student. I’m pretty sure you will hear that from everybody.”

Anderson’s maternal grandmother, April Davis, described her granddaughter as “kind, loving, caring, compassionate, driven,” according to the Detroit Free Press.

Brian Fraser

Brian Fraser was a sophomore from Grosse Pointe who played varsity lacrosse in high school.

He was the chapter president of the Michigan Beta Chapter of Phi Delta Theta at Michigan State. Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity said in a statement Tuesday that they were devastated to learn of his death. The fraternity also said in their statement: “As the leader of his chapter, Brian was a great friend to his Phi Delt brothers, the Greek community at Michigan State, and those he interacted with on campus.”

Jon Dean, the superintendent of the Grosse Pointe Public School System, wrote to the school community that his heart broke Monday night when he learned of the shooting, but that he had learned Tuesday that the loss was even more personal. “Earlier this morning I learned that both Grosse Pointe North and South each have a recent graduate that died from their injuries last night at MSU,” he wrote. “I can’t even process what I just wrote. How can we have our community impacted in this personal way?”

Fraser’s sister, Micaela, told the Detroit Free Press that he was a light in their family’s lives.

More on the MSU shooting

A gunman killed three Michigan State University students and critically injured five before killing himself on Monday.

The gunman: The MSU shooter, Anthony Dwayne McRae, was arrested for carrying a loaded firearm without a concealed-weapons permit in 2019 and later lied about having a gun inside his home, his father said. McRae was not affiliated with the university and authorities are still working to determine a motive.

The victims: The university identified two of the students killed as junior Alexandria Verner and sophomore Brian Fraser, both of Michigan. Here’s what we know about the victims.