MSU Student Who Also Survived Sandy Hook Demands Change On Gun Violence

A 21-year-old woman recalled the lingering effects of enduring the Newtown, Connecticut, mass shooting in a viral social media post.

On Dec. 14, 2012, Michigan State University student Jacquelyn Matthews was forced to hide alongside her young classmates as a shooter wielding an assault-style semi-automatic rifle terrorized the nearby Sandy Hook Elementary in her Connecticut hometown.

On Monday, the college senior was forced to hunker down once again as a shooter went on a rampage over her college campus in East Lansing, Michigan, killing three students and injuring five more.

“I am 21 years old, and this is the second mass shooting that I have now lived through,” Matthews said in a TikTok video posted in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

A caption neatly summed up her message: “Enough is enough.”

“My heart goes out to all the families and the friends of the victims of this Michigan State shooting, but we can no longer just provide love and prayers,” she continued. “It needs to be legislation. It needs to be action. It’s not OK. We can no longer allow this to happen. We can no longer be complacent.”

Matthews told Today that she was a student at Reed Intermediate School, which went into lockdown, at the time of the Sandy Hook shooting.

In her TikTok video, she described being “hunched in the corner” for so long during the Sandy Hook shooting 10 years and two months ago that she sustained a “PTSD fracture” at the base of her spine, which now “flares up” whenever she is in stressful situations.

School shootings are known to have a devastating impact beyond victims’ immediate family and friends. Research investigating the long-term health of survivors suggests they use antidepressants at a higher rate and have a lower likelihood of completing their educations.

Authorities announced early Tuesday morning that the suspect in the MSU shooting, 43-year-old Anthony McRae, had shot and killed himself after an hourslong police pursuit.

Police say McRae began his attack around 8:20 p.m. on Monday, firing shots at both Berkey Hall on the north side of the campus and the MSU Union to the west before fleeing on foot. Panicked community members called in reports of shots fired at other locations as they sheltered in place awaiting word from law enforcement.

Eventually, a tipster led police to McRae’s location after authorities released an image of the suspect taken from security cameras late Monday.

He had no affiliation with the university.

The three deceased victims were Alexandria Verner, a junior from Clawson, Michigan; Brian Fraser, a sophomore from Grosse Pointe, Michigan; and Arielle Anderson, a junior from Grosse Pointe, Michigan.

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