'Generation lockdown': Wayne State holds vigil, students reflect on fear of mass shooting threat

If there is any cultural phenomenon that’s played a role in shaping Gen Z, it’s mass shootings.

FOX 2: "Do you remember the first time you heard the term mass shooting?"

"I don’t even remember because it’s like we hear it so many times," said William Carter, 18. "It’s kind of like what we’ve grown up with."

That seemed to be evident at Wayne State University Thursday as students mourned the lives lost in the mass shooting tragedy at Michigan State University.

"It’s become our instinct to automatically when we go to class, when we go to a room: it's know your exits, know how to lock doors, know how to close the blinds, know how to barricade the doors," said Yousra Zouani, a 21-year-old senior. "If somebody comes in, know what you can use as a weapon."

Gunman Anthony McRae shot and killed Arielle Anderson, Brian Fraser, Alexandria Verner, and wounded five others, before turning the gun on himself.

Police say he was found with two firearms that were purchased legally. He was arrested in 2019 on a felony gun charge that was reduced to a misdemeanor.

While police have not determined a motive, they say McRae had a note, suggesting he felt slighted by local businesses in the area.

"I think our state legislature really needs to continue to work together to pass laws to make it more difficult for people who have any type of mental health concern, and making sure there’s more guided background checks," said Hayden Johnson.

Almost all of the young people we talked with want more gun control laws enacted.

"Getting to the root of the issue and getting to the root of the problem, and that is gun laws," said Anaya Jones, a 19-year-old sophomore. "Like how are we allowing people who have criminal backgrounds, purchase a gun."

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Some say a more comprehensive approach is needed.

"I believe we should get to the root cause of why the person is doing this violence," said Carter. "Because even if they don’t have guns, they’ll use something like a knife or anything to cause violence."

Some students lamenting the Lansing shootings, say there’s a difference in how mass shootings are seen compared to the kind of violence that occurs in cities like Detroit.

"You sleep in your bed and you hear gunshots, 'Oh well I’m going to go back to sleep,' or your friend just called, 'Oh they were shooting on my block.' 'Oh really? Are you ok?' But you keep it pushing, Whereas the school shootings they get more coverage," said Destiny Hill, a 22-year-old Wayne State senior.

Nakkisha Mills says none of it is acceptable, and all of it is too burdensome.

"The uncertainty just really puts a big hole in my heart because at what point do we say enough is enough," she said.