Michigan State Shooter: What We Know About Anthony Dwayne McRae

Details began to emerge Tuesday about the gunman who murdered three people at Michigan State University and injured five others on Monday night.

The shooter, identified as 43-year-old Anthony Dwayne McRae, has no clear connection to the sprawling campus in East Lansing, Michigan, and investigators are still searching for clues as to the motive.

But people familiar with McRae, who committed suicide when police closed in, say he was socially isolated and appeared emotionally unstable at times.

One factor that appears to have affected his life was the death of his mother, according to NBC News.

“His mom died, and he just started getting evil and mean. He didn’t care about anything anymore,” McRae’s father, Michael, told NBC News. “He was grieving his mom. He wouldn’t let it go. He got bitter, bitter and bitter.”

McRae allegedly stayed in his room and quit working after the woman died from a stroke on September 13, 2020.

McRae also has a criminal history. In 2019, he was sentenced to probation for 18 months on a charge of possessing a loaded firm.

Court records obtained by CNN show a Lansing police officer on patrol encountered McRae around 2 a.m. on June 7, 2019. McRae was smoking and sitting near an abandoned building in area that had experienced burglaries, prompting the officer to stop.

The officer asked McRae if he had any weapons and McRae said he did. Upon searching McRae, the officer found a loaded semi-automatic pistol in a pants pocket as well as a magazine in another pocket, CNN reports.

McRae did not have a license to carry a concealed weapon but the gun was registered to McRae, who said he carried the firearm for protection and had been attempting to secure a permit.

Following the arrest, Michael told his son there shouldn’t be any guns their home, but the father believes his son continued to keep firearms.

“I said, ‘I hope you got rid of that gun, man.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I got rid of it. I got rid it.’ He didn’t,” Michael told NBC News.

“He kept lying to me about it and told me he got rid of it,” Michael told The Washington Post. “He never let me in the room to show me the gun. If he showed it to me, I would have put it in the garbage.”

Michael said he did not know why his son targeted MSU but speculated that McRae might have sought employment there. Whether McRae had applied for any jobs at MSU is not clear, but university officials have said he was neither a staff member or student at the school, according to WSAZ-TV.

McRae’s sister, Melinda, described her brother as a socially isolated person who often fought with their parents, according to CNN. She said he would lash out at their mom but then apologize after.

The sister said she and her siblings grew up in a loving home and that her brother had most recently been living in a room in his father’s house. The family moved from New Jersey to Lansing 20 years ago for Michael’s job with General Motors, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Police allegedly found a note in McRae’s pocket that indicated threats to two schools in Ewing Township, New Jersey, but authorities later determined there was no active threat, according to WSAZ-TV.

McRae’s older brother, whose name is Michael Jr., said he had not talked with his brother since their mother’s funeral in 2020.

“This just don’t seem real, that he would be able to do anything like this,” Michael Jr. told the Free Press. “I am still trying to process this whole thing.

“I am deeply sorry for this whole thing,” he added.

The school first issued an alert about shots fired around 8:30 p.m. Monday. Police say McRae shot students at Berkey Hall, which houses the university’s sociology department, and the student union two blocks away.

Some of the wounded have life-threatening injuries and are in critical condition at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. Several of the injured underwent surgeries overnight, according to WLNS-TV.

Featured Image: This booking photo provided by Michigan Department of Corrections shows Anthony McRae. Police identified McRae, who killed three students and wounded five at Michigan State University, saying Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023 that a tip from the public led to a confrontation with officers miles from campus where the gunman fatally shot himself. (Michigan Department of Corrections via AP)