Some question why MSU security didn't remotely lock Union at time of mass shooting
EAST LANSING, Mich. (FOX 2) - There’s a big question brewing at MSU in the wake of the deadly shooting rampage there two weeks ago - why didn’t university safety officials use their ability to lock the Union remotely as the shooting was taking place.
It’s where 20-year-old student Brian Fraser was shot and killed when police say the gunman, 43-year-old Anthony McRae, opened fire.
"I don’t think that anything should be open to the public right now," said MSU grad student Lily Brueckman.
That’s the feeling of some Spartans who are still worried about their safety following the murders of Fraser, plus Arielle Anderson and Alexandria Verner, the two who were killed at nearby Berkey Hall.
Five others were hurt and since then, there’s a wide-ranging debate on campus about how to better secure the buildings.
"A few very brave men in our class used their belts to kind of fashion around the door handle and they held them closed sort of like tug of war, like held them shut," said student Monica Brewer. "I think to help students like myself feel safe to go back to campus, I would need a lock on our doors."
Others think a locking system would have given the shooter more of an advantage.
"Like what if he was trapped in the building, what if he was stuck in there?" said another student. "I just don’t think that’s a reasonable solution to gun violence or to stopping tragedies happening."
"I think that there was a lot of students outside that still needed to get to safety," said Brueckman. "I don’t think students should have been locked out, but I think that there’s a lot of other measures that they could have taken - but I do also think that they did the best they could at the time."
A spokesman for University Communications tells FOX 2 that while MSU’s Police Department has the ability to remotely lock the Union and other buildings, doing so also prevents law enforcement and emergency medical responders from accessing the building - ultimately slowing potential response times.
The university official says the Union’s exterior doors are timed to lock, according to its business hours.
Still most students FOX 2 spoke with, say there’s really one thing they want to see change more than anything.
"I think we need reasonable gun control that can actually prevent these tragedies from happening, rather than making it harder to get into buildings - because that’s not going to be effective."
The Unon and Berkey Hall are both locked and closed for the time being on campus. The university administration says it is in the midst of upgrading their system that relates to remote locking of buildings so that more buildings can be remotely locked at once.