No motive in MSU shooting that killed 3, police say; investigation not done

Michigan State University police have released the most detailed timeline of the mass shooting in February, as well as other details.

Among the most striking details is law enforcement unable to determine a motive behind the Feb. 13 shooting, which left three students dead and five with serious injuries.

The shooter, Anthony McRae, had no personal or professional connection to the university. He also had not applied to the school for work in recent years. A note had been found on the shooter's body after he shot himself by police that provided the most up-to-date information about the state of his mind.

"It does indicate some pre-planning went into this. How long that pre-planning, it's hard to say at this point," said MSU Chief of Police Chris Rozman.

Police posted image of the note, which include ramblings from McRae about plans to carry out a shooting. The plans have been found to be untrue and police say McRae acted alone and was not working with other people.

You can read the note here.

The details included in the release are the culmination of months of investigatory work by several police agencies.

A report has yet to be sent to the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office.

"We are staying strong," Rozman said. "Everyone is moving forward and healing in their own way, but we are doing it together."

MORE: Medical chief breaks down while speaking about MSU shooting victims

***Please be aware the following information may be disturbing or difficult to read***

Read more coverage of the mass shooting here

MSU Shooting Timeline

Police also released a more complete timeline of the mass shooting, beginning with when McRae exited a bus at the Grand River and Berkey Hall bus stop at 7:19 p.m. The first shots were fired at 8:18 p.m. inside Berkey Hall.

  • 7:19 p.m. – McRae exits bus at Grand River/Berkey Hall bus stop
  • 7:24 p.m. – McRae walks eastbound on Grand River Ave in front of Broad Art Museum
  • 7:26 p.m. – McRae walks northeast across Grand River Ave
  • 8:12 p.m. – McRae walks westbound in front of Broad Art Museum
  • 8:18 p.m. – First shots fired call at Berkey Hall received by Ingham County 911
  • 8:19 p.m. – Officers dispatched to Berkey Hall by Ingham County 911
  • 8:19 p.m. – McRae is seen walking westbound along Grand River Ave in front of Ramp 6
  • 8:20 p.m. – First officers arrive at Berkey Hall
  • 8:23 p.m. – McRae fires one shot while walking from Berkey to the Union
  • 8:24 p.m. – McRae enters the Union
  • 8:26 p.m. – First report of shooting at the Union
  • 8:26 p.m. – McRae exits the Union and leaves campus
  • 8:27 p.m. – Officers dispatched to the Union by Ingham County 911
  • 8:27 p.m. – Officers arrive at the Union
  • 8:30 p.m. – First MSU Alert sent, instructions given to shelter-in-place
  • 8:31 p.m. – Second MSU Alert sent, instructions given to shelter-in-place
  • 9:14 p.m. – Person matching description is seen walking northbound on Harrison near Grand River Ave
  • 10:04 p.m. – MSU Alert sent, suspect description given
  • 10:54 p.m. – MSU Alert sent, instructions to monitor for more information
  • 11:02 p.m. – First news conference takes place
  • 11:18 p.m. – Photo of McRae shared on MSU DPPS social media
  • 11:33 p.m. – MSU Alert sent, more descriptive suspect description given
  • 11:35 p.m. – Ingham County 911 receives call of person matching the description walking on Lake Lansing Rd near High St in the City of Lansing
  • 11:49 p.m. – Officers approach person matching description and he completes suicide with a gun
  • 12:20 a.m. – MSU DPPS confirms the deceased person matching description as McRae with the public
  • 12:25 a.m. – Second news conference takes place
  • 12:27 a.m. —MSU Alert sent, shelter-in-place lifted
  • 12:28 a.m. — MSU DPPS posts to social media that shelter-in-place is lifted
  • 1:07 a.m. – MSU Alert sent, bus service information for reunification center
  • 1:35 a.m. – Third news conference takes place
  • 8:02 a.m. – Fourth news conference takes place
  • 12:12 p.m. – News release disseminated

The route that McRae took after the shooting. 

The weapon

McRae was found with two weapons when police located him - both were 9 mm handguns that had been purchased within a month of one another in 2021. 

He used his Michigan Identification Card and a Social Security Card to purchase the guns legally. However, they were never registered. 

Only the Taurus G3 9 mm handgun was used during the shooting. A total of 18 shell casings were found on campus, including 14 at Berkey Hall, three at the student union, and one outside the Human Ecology Building.

There were no other weapons found at McRae's residence.

Other findings

The local police department's command center processed 128 tips since the shooting.

Images of the shooter were shared on social media at 11:18 p.m. and a 911 call of a person matching his description came in at 11:35 p.m. McRae died by suicide after shooting himself at 11:49 p.m.

He was near his home at the time of his death.