MSU students recount ‘terrifying’ hours under lockdown
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EAST LANSING, Mich. () — Jaylyn Chavarria was barricaded in the John F. Schaefer Law Library for four hours with about 20-30 other individuals when reports of an active shooter sent the Michigan State University campus into lockdown.

“I’m still pretty much in shock,” Jaylyn, a senior at the university, said. “I really didn’t believe it when my friend came in and showed me the email.”

She explained that there have unfortunately been reports of active shooters on campus before, and said that she thinks almost everyone who saw that email couldn’t have imagined that it would turn into something so deadly.

Jaylyn did not hear gunshots herself but said she was in constant communication with students all across the campus — mostly random texts to let each other know they were still OK.

“I did have the live police transmitter audio on. Everyone in that room was just following along with everything to see where the next location may have been,” Jaylyn said.

Jaylyn’s mother Jennifer Garratt said she was glad her daughter was safe.

“It’s obviously a scary time to get a text from your daughter like that. And so we were continually just texting and she was giving me updates,” Jennifer said.

Jennifer said she couldn’t go to bed until she knew her daughter was safe.

Jaylyn said she and her roommates tried to remain calm until the news could be confirmed, especially since there was a lot of misinformation going around. She didn’t get home until after 1 a.m. and didn’t get much sleep since they were still in shock about the entire situation.

Graduate student Brianna Finn had a similar reaction to the active shooter alert as Jaylyn: “You almost don’t believe it when you read an email like that.”

Brianna was at home in her Okemos, Michigan, apartment when she received an email from the university that there was an active shooter on campus. She said she locked the doors, closed the blinds and turned off all her lights.

“You never know where things are going to head,” Brianna said. “Just a terrifying night starting at 8:30 p.m.”

Brianna was an undergrad at MSU before she began graduate school. All night long, Brianna said she was checking on classmates, friends, coworkers and even her friends’ siblings who were current students at the university.

“Honestly, for the amount of hours that it went on, you don’t feel, you know, very safe at all,” Brianna said. “Especially, you know, hearing which direction he’s going in and you know, different things on social media. You just never know what direction it is.”

However, Brianna said seeing the police response gave her reassurance that the situation was being handled properly.

“I’ve been here for six years now. This is where I live, this is my home. This has never, ever happened,” she said.

Brianna said it’s more common to see people in Berkey Hall for that is a more common space for clubs to host meetings and students to gather; however, the union is a more secluded area for students, she said. Brianna explained that the union is a place where people go for late-night snacks or where they go to study all night.

“It’s just incredibly sad to see a building that I’ve had such pure fond memories and turn into a place of absolute fear for so many people,” she said.

Michigan State University President Teresa Woodruff said resources will be available to students and faculty at the Hannah Center, starting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, to help them through this time.

All campus activities have been canceled for the next 48 hours as police continue to investigate.

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