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MSU releases independent review of mass shooting

A student kneels where flowers are being left at the Spartan Statue on the grounds of Michigan State University, in East Lansing, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. A gunman killed several people and wounded others at Michigan State University. Police said early Tuesday that the shooter eventually killed himself. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Ken Lund
Creative Commons

Michigan State University on Tuesday morning released an independent review of its response to the February 13th mass shooting. Three students were killed in the attack and five others injured.

The after-action report from Security Risk Management Consultants found the on-scene response of MSU police was “appropriate, timely, and correct.” The report also commended the work of the County Dispatch Center, as it received an influx of 9-1-1 calls.

But the review said the overwhelming nature of the mass shooting strained MSU’s resources, causing interagency confusion. It said some emergency responders were not directed to specific staging areas, and that some MSU staff that intended to help during the crisis “added to the chaos.”

The report said MSU should improve classroom locks, campus lockdown procedures, and video surveillance.

University Spokesman Dan Olsen told WKAR the school is already in the process of implementing many of the suggestions, such as replacing door locks, expanding the campus surveillance system and locking down most buildings in the evening.

“The Security Risk Management Consultants report reinforces that we're on the right track with some of these measures," Olsen said. "In addition to that, they provide us with additional recommendations for consideration to continue expanding and improving the safety and of our campus community.”

S. Daniel Carter, a campus safety consultant who has worked with colleges to ensure their compliance with guidelines, said the assessment also calls for better coordination between various agencies.

“The report primarily focuses on making Crisis Response improvements, so that when there is an emergency situation, there is a better organized response through a unified command where every agency that is responding coordinates and works together better.”

The report also found the MSU Board of Trustee’ involvement in the incident went beyond their customary role, and suggested board members undergo training to understand what their roles are during emergencies.

In a written statement, MSU Interim President Teresa Woodruff said the university has already acted on some of the report’s recommendations, like upgrading electronic door locks at buildings and centralizing the university’s security center.

Copyright 2023 WKAR Public Media. To see more, visit WKAR Public Media.