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Anna Alexander, Location: In a car outside of the MSU Union

Hello, my name is Anna Alexander and I am a freshman at Michigan State. During the time the horrific events began to take place I was walking to my roommates car around 8:20 on Monday night. We were going to pick up dinner after both of us had late exams. We heard an insane amount of sirens but didn’t think too much of it as MSU often has minor instances that aren’t a major threat to our campus. We were immune to the sirens and blindly got in the car heading toward north campus. Cop cars suddenly rushed passed us on every street, traffic started piling up, before we knew it a fire truck had come behind us leaving my roommate no choice but to pull over onto the side of the road. Where we pulled off was directly outside of the union.

Not even 5 feet from us we turned and there were 10-15 police officers fully dressed with huge firearms in their hands surrounding the union and frantically calling for backup. More police cars started pulling into the union and we ended up getting back onto the road around 8:35. Looking outside was nothing but chilling, students still walking around without a clue in the world. Watching them look down at their phones and panic, trying to run somewhere for shelter is an image I’ll never forget. The anxiety in my body as we are trying to get out of traffic and somewhere safe as our ears can only hear the blaring sounds of fire trucks, ambulance, and police cars. Turning on the police radar was nothing short of a shock into reality. Emails flooding in with the words “run, hide, fight” is something no student should ever receive. Trying to find somewhere to go but quickly realizing we can’t even go back into our dorms due to the fact that it was being said shots were fired there felt so helpless, scared, and in panic. Receiving countless “are you safe” texts and not knowing if I was safe or not was a feeling I’ll always be able to retrieve. We were able to go to an off campus apartment with some of my other peers thankfully.

The police radar was still blaring with allegations of bombs, shootings at my dorm and my friends, and multiple shooters. Nobody knew what was true or false, the smallest noise from outside causing us to run into the bathroom in silence. Constantly checking up on my friends who were scattered throughout campus, waiting on responses felt like a million years. This will forever change myself and my community at Michigan state. This is a place where my friends turned into family, a community where we help each other and look out for one another. This act was horrific, disturbing, and above all senseless. We will NOT remember or put emphasis on the disgusting being that carried out these acts, but instead honor and remember the three beautiful angels whose lives were unfairly taken. As well as supporting the five who remain injured and hospitalized, along with those who escaped physical injury, yet are emotionally harmed. I started off the week dreading my two exams. We no longer need thoughts and prayers as that is clearly not enough. We NEED change. You never think it will happen to you, until it does, the sad reality of America. Hug the people around you a little tighter today, and everyday, reminding them you love them. My heart breaks for my friends, family, and this community who I love with all my heart.

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