MSU survivors improving • Anthony McRae's 2019 arrest • Emotional remarks from Tom Izzo
THURSDAY NEWS HIT - The latest round of updates following Monday's mass shooting at Michigan State University brings positive news about many of the gunshot victims who were taken to the hospital.
Two of the students were from China, according to the Chinese Consulate General in Chicago. Both underwent surgery and appear to be improving. Family members of both students were contacted.
The superintendent of Hartland Consolidated Schools has also confirmed that a 2020 graduate of the district was critically wounded in the shooting. Their status is unknown.
A fourth victim who was identified as Guadalupe Huapilla-Perez, a hospitality and business major from south Florida. Her condition is said to be improving, according to the family's gofundme, but a full recovery is expected to take months of care and rehabilitation.
More than $335,000 has been raised to help the family.
"Being away from home, our family will be unable to work while monthly bills will continue to mount. Doctors tell us that even in improving conditions, the process for a full recovery will take months of care and subsequent rehabilitation," wrote Guadalupe's sister Selena. "Our family is incredibly moved by the love and support others are pouring into us."
Police plan to give a formal update into law enforcement's investigation this morning at 10 a.m. FOX 2 will stream the conference live on FOX2Detroit.com.
Three people were killed in the shooting Monday night after a gunman opened fire inside an academic hall on the northern border of Michigan State University. The victims - Brian Fraser, Arielle Anderson, and Alexandria Verner - were all honored at vigils at their high schools as well as at MSU Wednesday night.
RELATED: 'He'd be in jail still': MSP Lt. Shaw argues existing laws could have prevented Michigan State shooting
Asst. Prof. Mitchell Robinson, who teaches Music Education at MSU, had a former student injured in the shooting.
"He went through three hours of surgery Monday night in critical condition, but we're hearing that he's stable and showing slow but steady signs of improvement," Robinson said. "Had the tubes taken out of his chest and is breathing on his own and is starting to talk to people, so we're just hopeful he'll make a full recovery"
It will take weeks to fully unravel the case and years for students and staff to manage the trauma inflicted on Feb. 13.
MSU shooter was arrested in 2019 on felony firearm
Anthony McRae, who is suspected of shooting eight students at MSU this week, was previously arrested in 2019 by Lansing police after carrying a pistol without a concealed pistol license. The felony charge that would have followed would have kept McRae from passing a background check to buy a firearm.
The charge also came with potential jail time, but McRae pleaded down to a misdemeanor in the case.
"If you are convicted of that five-year felony, you are a prohibited person meaning your name goes into the database that the feds keep called the National Instant Criminal Background Check system," said Steve Dulan, an attorney and board member on the Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners. "And when you go to buy a gun at a dealer (you would be denied)."
It's unclear how McRae got his hands on the firearm used in the shooting. Sources confirmed with FOX 2 that McRae was also found with two more handguns and additional magazines in his backpack.
Emotional remarks from Izzo, Whitmer at MSU vigil
Tears continued to fall at Michigan State University Wednesday evening when hundreds of students, teachers, friends, and family convened near the school's Rock which sits alongside the Red Cedar River.
"I cry in front of my team, I cry on national TV. Don't be afraid to show your emotions," said Basketball coach Tom Izzo. "We all process trauma in a very different way. I am just glad we are all here tonight.
"We're Spartan-tough, Spartan-strong," he said. "If you need proof, look at all of us standing here tonight. We've come for many different reasons - to heal, to grieve, to honor our victims. To stand up to fear, which you are going to have to do a lot in your life. Whatever you are feeling it is all valid. Emotions are different for each and every person."
The Rock, which is often used as the source of community engagement and club activities, is frequently painted to celebrate events or draw attention to causes. It went through four coats since Monday.
Operation North Star II busts 833 suspects, including fugitives in Michigan
Last month, U.S. Marshals spent 30 days busting fugitives wanted for serious and violent crimes around the country, including here in Michigan. They rounded up 833 suspects in Michigan, New York, New Mexico, Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri, Wisconsin, California, and Puerto Rico while working with local law enforcement departments during Operation North Star II.
Efforts in Michigan resulted in 95 total warrants closed – 49 focal offense warrants and 46 other egregious offense warrants, and the seizure of 16 firearms, drugs, and $2,000, authorities said.
Across the county, 95 people were arrested for homicide and 68 people were arrested for sexual assault. Investigators seized 181 firearms, more than $229,000 in cash, and more than 160 kilograms of drugs.
Marshals highlighted two arrests in Michigan: Richard Nichols, who was arrested Jan. 30 in Albion for assault with intent to murder, and James Ashley, who was arrested Feb. 2 in Flint for weapons crimes. While arrested Ashley, authorities said seven firearms, several hundred rounds of ammunition, multiple high-capacity magazines, and 74 ecstasy pills were seized.
See more photos of the operation here.
Activists say "Flint is not fixed" after nearly 10 years since crisis
Activists visited the federal courthouse in Detroit on Wednesday to demand a new deadline to replace lead pipes in Flint and restore the city's bottled water distribution program. "Today is Day No. 3,218 since our water was switched in Flint by the city and state of Michigan. Since then, the city, state of Michigan, and federal government have failed us," said Melissa Mays, with Flint Rising.
Mays said Flint has not followed through on its pipe replacement and restoration agreement from 2017, which was supposed to be finished in 2020. Nearly a decade after the Flint Water Crisis began, residents don't feel safe drinking the water.
"There are people still having rashes, bacterial infections. It has not stopped. The Flint water crisis is not over. Flint is not fixed," she said. While the lead levels in Flint’s water, currently around 9 parts per billion, aren't high enough for the government to take action, residents won’t be satisfied until that number is zero.
"We want a right to live. We want a right to drink safe water. We want a right for our children to live. For pregnant mothers to have babies and not have to abort their babies because of the water," said Bernadel Jefferson, with Concerned Pastors for Social Action.
Live on FOX 2
We're going to get a brief return of winter tonight and tomorrow with a winter weather advisory in effect for parts of the state today. The advisory expands to Southeast Michigan by 4 p.m. as a wintry mix heads toward the state. Tomorrow, temperatures will be freezing.
What else we're watching
- Attorney General Dana Nessel is calling for more transparency into the world of lobbying. Specifically, she has filed comments asking for transparency concerning the money spent by utility companies seeking to influence public policy - like Consumers Energy and DTE
- Former Republican candidate for governor Ryan Kelley has been scheduled for a trial date of July 31 for his involvement in the capital riot. Kelley's case has been slowed down by possible plea deals, though nothing has been reached.
- Ford's halting of F-150 Lightning production will last up to three weeks, the company said. A fire broke out at a parking lot, prompting the delay.
- The Michigan Senate is expected to vote on the governor's wide-ranging tax cut package. It previously passed the House by a slim margin before Republicans walked out of the Senate chamber.
- Two new affordable housing development projects are breaking ground in Brush Park and Cass Corridor Thursday.
China threatens US entities over downing of suspected spy balloon
China said Wednesday it will take measures against U.S. entities related to the downing of a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the American East Coast. At a daily briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin gave no details and did not identify the targets of the measures.
China says the balloon was a unmanned weather airship that was accidentally blown off course and accuses the U.S. of overreacting in bringing it down with a missile fired from an F-22 fighter jet.
Since the Feb. 4 downing of the balloon, the United States has sanctioned six Chinese entities it said are linked to Beijing’s aerospace programs.