Emergency alerts to MSU students were delayed for 13 minutes on Feb. 13, Bridge Michigan reported. With every on- and off-duty campus police officer responding to the shooting, no one was left to send the initial alert, which came after the gunman had left Berkey Hall and was entering the MSU Union, where he killed a third student. In some cases, students received an email rather than the usual text alert. “It’s unclear exactly how long the staffing situation delayed the initial notification,” Bridge wrote, “but MSU police have previously warned students of suspected campus gunmen in as little as four minutes.”
—MSU will require key card access for most buildings on campus from 6 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., effective Monday (March 13); update locks on 1,300 classroom doors by fall 2023 so instructors can secure classrooms while permitting first responders to enter in an emergency; add cameras throughout campus while MSU Police and Public Safety works to centralize the oversight of cameras and security systems; require students, faculty and staff to complete active violence intruder training beginning in fall 2023; and request proposals for a third-party review of the school’s response to the shooting.
—Two more of the five surviving shooting victims were discharged from Sparrow Hospital. One student was released two weeks ago. One, Guadalupe Huapilla-Perez, remains hospitalized in fair condition. The other, John Hao, who is paralyzed from the chest down, is still in critical condition.
—MSU is preserving items left at memorial sites. Students, faculty and staff gathered the items, including flowers, signs and candles. The flowers will be composted and used to mulch a memorial tree that will be planted later this year, and the signs and other items will be preserved by the MSU Archives and MSU Museum.
A former African American employee of the Michigan State University police department has alleged racial discrimination in a suit against MSU and two of the department's leaders. Crystal Perry was hired as an administrator in 2021, but she was let go at the end of her probationary period. Her suit claims multiple examples of discrimination, including being given a former broom closet that was “very small, dirty and filled with boxes and spider webs” as her office. Besides the university, the suit names as plaintiffs Police Chief Marlon Lynch and Darryl Green, the department’s former chief of staff and ex-Lansing police chief. In 2013, Perry recovered attorney’s fees in a suit against the state Department of Human Services, which was fined $21,000 after a 5-foot-high toy monkey was placed on her desk in an incident that made national headlines.
Birgit Puschner, the dean of MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine, resigned over the school's handling of Title IX investigations. In 2017, Matti Kiupel, a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, was suspended for two months for unwelcome sexual contact and comments he made at a veterinary conference the year before, and he is currently under investigation after multiple women reported additional sexual misconduct in 2021. In addition, the Lansing State Journal found that at least 49 faculty and staff members have violated the school’s policies against making unwanted sexual contact, stalking or sexually harassing coworkers or students since 2015. Former MSU Trustee Pat O’Keefe resigned in November, citing many of the same concerns as Puschner. She will step down at the end of the month but will remain a faculty member.
East Lansing is stepping up security at the high school to address community concerns. The Lansing State Journal reported that it will hire three unarmed security officers and consider hiring a certified police officer, among other reforms. The moves follow two fights in January, including one in which a gun was dropped. DK Security, a Grand Rapids firm, will supply the security guards. The steps follow a survey that showed 72% of the 719 community respondents favor hiring a certified police officer.
Two additional Lansing businesses, 517 Coffee Co. and Dicker & Deal Second Hand Store, received alarming letters, the Lansing State Journal reported. These reports come after Strange Matter Coffee closed last week under the same circumstances. It reopened Friday (March 3). James Defrees, 517 Coffee Co. owner, told the Journal he was sent a 10-page letter addressed to “police,” but it had the store’s address. It contained swastikas, planes dropping bombs and references to Jewish people and Jewish religion, World War III and former President Donald Trump. An unnamed employee of Dicker & Deal said its location on Cedar Street was sent “two or three” letters within the past month but trashed them. The Lansing Police Department said the public isn’t at risk, though the FBI’s Detroit field office and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service are investigating the situation and ask anyone who receives a threatening letter to contact them immediately.
An 11-year-old girl is in stable condition after being shot in the leg Saturday (March 4), the Lansing State Journal reported. She was inside her house in the area of Orchard Court during the shooting, and the shots are believed to have come from outside of the home. Her family transported her to the hospital after the incident. Police believe this was a targeted shooting, and there is no threat to the public. Anyone with information on the shooting should call the Lansing Police Department at 517-483-4600.
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