UNITED STATE Mich. A steady stream of cars pulled up outside Wilson Hall, picking up Michigan State University students after they had been released from a night of lockdown in which a gunman killed three people and injured five before taking his own life.
Students were released from a shelter-in-place order after midnight, more than four hours after the first reports of shots fired. Earlier in the evening, officials had said all campus activities would be canceled for the next 48 hours, so students were free to go home.
Aidan Baldwin, a 19-year-old freshman from Waterford, Mich., sat in a pickup truck with his aunt and uncle, who came to pick him up. He spent most of the night locked in a bathroom with a roommate, calling friends to check on them, monitoring the news and letting his parents know that he was safe.
“For the first half hour it was OK, but after it got to be two or three hours, it got pretty nerve-racking. It felt more real,” he said. Asked how he felt when he heard that the gunman had taken his own life, he said: “It’s gonna sound bad but I felt kind of relieved, just that we could move around.”
Luke Stepek, an 18-year-old freshman from Plymouth, Mich., sat on a bench outside the dorm with a roommate.
“It was just a casual Monday night, I was cranking out some assignments,” he said. He didn’t think too much about the first alerts of an active shooter. But when he heard started hearing siren after siren go by and the sound of gunshots, he knew it was serious.
“I can’t really describe to you what I’m feeling right now,” he said. “It’s surreal.”
He said he will probably go home in the morning, but he wanted some time to let things settle.
“I just want to process this in my own way for now,” he said.