As students sheltered in place during the shooting at Michigan State University Monday night, the experience was doubly traumatizing for many, as they had lived through such a nightmare before.
The tragedy at MSU, which left three dead and five wounded in critical condition, is the sixty-seventh mass shooting this year. There have been more mass shootings than there have been days in 2023.
Horrifically, school shootings seem to have become the norm in the United States. The MSU attack was Michigan’s second school shooting in about a year, coming 14 months after a student opened fire at Oxford High School in Michigan (four dead, seven wounded). It came on the fifth anniversary of the Parkland school shooting in Florida (17 dead, 17 wounded) and a little more than 10 years after the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut (26 dead, two wounded). Graduates of all three schools now attend MSU.
In a video that quickly went viral, one Sandy Hook survivor slammed the MSU shooting.
“The fact that this is the second mass shooting that I have now lived through is incomprehensible,” the 21-year-old, who uses the handle Jmattttt, said in the TikTok. “We can no longer just provide love and prayers. It needs to be legislation, it needs to be action. It’s not OK.”
One Oxford alum was across the street from where the shooting began and immediately called her mother. “She said that she had PTSD. She said she can’t believe this is happening again,” her mom told the Detroit Free Press, who asked that the student’s name not be used.
“She said, ‘Mom I just want to come home, I want to hold you.’”
The mother of another Oxford graduate, whose name was also withheld, told the Local 4 station that it was “like reliving Oxford all over again.”
The woman said that instinct kicked in for her daughter and for herself. “It’s really, really surreal to have to worry about this, and to know exactly what to do,” she said.
Three MSU freshmen had lived in Rochester, Michigan, a few towns over from Oxford, and vividly remembered the shooting there.
“I don’t feel safe anymore at MSU … and now we have to spend the next three years here,” one told local reporter Rachel Louise Just.