Still feeling the pain of its own loss of three students to gun violence, the University of Virginia community responded today with an outpouring of support to Michigan State University.
Three MSU students were shot and killed and five wounded on Monday night by a man armed with a handgun who entered an academic building and fired several shots into a classroom.
“Our hearts go out to our friends and colleagues at Michigan State, especially to those who were injured and to the family and friends of those who were killed,” UVA President Jim Ryan posted on his social media accounts. “My colleagues and I are reaching out to offer support to our counterparts at Michigan State, and I’d ask that we all keep that community in our thoughts and prayers.”
MSU Police said there appears to be no connection between the school and the 43-year-old assailant, who also fired at students at the school’s student union building. The man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound later that night as police were closing in.
MSU Police said Tuesday afternoon that the five wounded students are in critical condition.
The Feb. 13 shooting comes only three months after the Nov. 13 deaths of UVA football players D’Sean Perry, Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis Jr. and the wounding of two other students.
The players were on a bus that had just returned to Grounds from a class trip to Washington, D.C., to see a play when they were shot to death, allegedly by a fellow student on the bus. Mike Hollins, a football player, and student Marlee Morgan were wounded in the attack and are recovering.
On Tuesday, UVA’s Department of Athletics also offered its support to MSU on social media.
Our prayers are with @michiganstateu and Spartan community. Our hearts are with the families and friends of those who were injured or lost their lives. @UVAFootball stands with you🧡💙 #SpartanStrong💚🤍 https://t.co/wgBogV54nq— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) February 14, 2023
“Our prayers are with [Michigan State] and Spartan community,” the UVA Football Twitter post read. “Our hearts are with the families and friends of those who were injured or lost their lives. UVA Football stands with you.”
UVA Director of Athletics Carla G. Williams also offered support on Twitter.
Prayers up for @michiganstateu ❤️🙏🏾We are with you. 💚🤍 End the violence. #SpartanStrong #UVAStrong @MSU_Athletics @VirginiaSports https://t.co/2WBPxo9Bum— Carla G. Williams (@ADWilliamsUVA) February 14, 2023
“Prayers up for @michiganstateu,” she wrote. “We are with you. End the violence.”
UVA head football coach Tony Elliott also joined in. “My heartfelt condolences go out to @michiganstateu and the entire Spartan Community. We stand with you. #SpartanStrong,” he wrote on Twitter.
My heartfelt condolences go out to @michiganstateu and the entire Spartan Community. We stand with you. #SpartanStrong https://t.co/ISsFiwyxnS— Tony Elliott (@Coach_TElliott) February 14, 2023
“To everyone at Michigan State, you are not alone,” UVA officials posted on the University Twitter page. “We are here for you and will support your healing in every way we can.”
The post included a meme stating “From Grounds to the Banks of the Red Cedar, UVA Stands With MSU.” The East Lansing school’s campus is laid out along the Red Cedar River that runs through central Michigan, a location noted in the school’s fight song.
Assistant Editor, UVA Today Office of University Communications
March 22, 2023