For some Michigan State University students, Monday night’s deadly mass shooting wasn’t their first. Several alumni of Oxford High School — about 80 miles from MSU, where a gunman killed four people in November 2021 — were on campus, as was Sandy Hook survivor Jackie Matthews. At a news conference, U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin, whose district includes Oxford, condemned the shooting: “We have children in Michigan who are living through their second school shooting in under a year and a half,” she said. “If this is not a wake-up call to do something, I don’t know what is.”
Michigan Democrats, who in November gained control of the state House, Senate, and governorship, are considering fast-tracking new gun reform legislation in response to the campus shooting. That legislation would expand background checks, mandate safe firearm storage, and allow authorities to remove guns from people who are at high risk of committing violence. The shooter was previously charged with a felony weapons offense, but the case never went to trial, according to the county prosecutor’s office.
Three students were killed in the Monday night attack: Arielle Anderson, a junior; Brian Fraser, a sophomore; and Alexandria Verner, a junior. Five people were wounded and sent to the hospital in critical condition.
From Our Team
Last year, The Trace’s Justin Agrelo spoke with more than 30 Chicagoans about gun violence coverage. He heard a common concern: Stories aren’t always told in human terms, and many survivors don’t trust the news media to handle their accounts with nuance and care. So Agrelo is spearheading a new initiative to help Chicagoans touched by gun violence tell their own stories — because people directly affected by gun violence deserve to shape the narrative around it.
What to Know Today
Five years after Parkland, kids are experiencing gun violence in schools at staggering rates. Lawmakers have done little to prevent campus shootings, and the onus of keeping kids safe has fallen on schools themselves — and spawned a billion-dollar private security industry peddling unproven methods. [The Washington Post] Context: The ALICE Training Institute is the largest for-profit private provider of active shooting training in the United States. There’s little evidence its approach works.
After-school shootings have spiked in Chicago — last year, nine children aged 17 or younger were killed during the weekday hours when students typically commute home, up from a decade high of six in 2016. Parents and teachers want the district to do more to keep kids safe. [Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ]
A new Centers of Disease Control and Prevention report shows that suicide rates climbed in 2021, following a two-year dip. Suicide rose among young Americans, particularly younger Black, Latino, and Native people, and declined among older people. [The New York Times/CDC] Context: A 2022 Trace analysis of public health data found that gun suicide rates steadily increased among young people in their teens and 20s over the last decade, with the sharpest increases among people of color.
Many police officers never attempt to provide first aid, even though most are trained in it. And though some departments require officers to administer emergency aid, there’s little to hold them accountable — even if a failure to help results in a death. [The Marshall Project]
The Los Angeles Police Department heavily edits footage of violent encounters between citizens and law enforcement officers before releasing them to the public. After the city of Memphis swiftly released raw video of the police beating of Tyre Nichols, critics are wondering why LA isn’t as transparent. [Los Angeles Times]
Antoine Tolbert, a community organizer in Cleveland, arranges armed street patrols in high-crime neighborhoods to deter violence. While law enforcement may consider him an antagonist, residents say Tolbert provides protection where the police don’t, and City Council members consider him an asset. [Cleveland.com]
Eight Philadelphia police officers were benched and stripped of their service weapons for improperly pocketing more than $75,000 from a city anti-violence program grant, following the resignation last week of the program’s founder, a former police captain. A portion of the grant was intended for young people at risk of becoming involved in gun violence, but records show that at least a third of those funds went to families of police officers. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]
43,450 — the number of American children who experienced gun violence at school in 2022, the worst year for school shootings on record. [The Washington Post]
This post has been revised to reflect updated information about the Michigan State shooter’s felony weapons offense charge.
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