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February 14, 2023

Threatening note found in pocket of Michigan State shooter prompts New Jersey school closures

The gunman, Anthony McRae, formerly lived in the area outside of Trenton. In East Lansing, three people died and five others were critically wounded

Public schools in Ewing, New Jersey were closed Tuesday in response to a troubling note found with the gunman who killed three people and injured five others at Michigan State University on Monday night before taking his own life, police said.

The shooter, Anthony McRae, 43, was a former New Jersey resident from the Trenton area, MSU police said during a news conference Tuesday. Ewing is about four miles north of Trenton.  

Ewing Township Police Lt. Glenn Tettemer said authorities learned that McRae had a note in his pocket containing a threat to Ewing public schools. Out of caution, all Ewing public schools were closed for the day. 

See attached Press Release regarding a school threat leading to the closing of Ewing Public Schools today.

Posted by Ewing Police Department on Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The investigation found that McRae had a history of mental health issues, Tettemer said. McRae had not lived in the Ewing area for several years.

"After further investigation, it has been determined that the incident is isolated to Michigan, and there is no threat to Ewing schools."

Police will remain at Ewing schools all day Tuesday ahead of an anticipated reopening on Wednesday. Police also be will patrolling schools in Trenton, though district officials said there was no specific threat there.

McRae's rampage began shortly after 8:15 p.m. Monday, with shots fired in an academic building and the student union. The ensuing manhunt ended after 11:30 p.m. several miles from the East Lansing campus. Police found McRae dead from a self-inflicted gunshot. 

It's unknown why McRae targeted Michigan State. He had no known connections to the university.

Two of the students killed were identified as sophomore Brian Fraser and junior Alexandria Verner. Five students remained hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday, the university said.

"We cannot begin to fathom the immeasurable amount of pain that our campus community is feeling," MSU Police said. "We want to ensure our community that our department as well as our law enforcement partners will conduct a comprehensive and thorough investigation regarding this tragic incident."