ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Three people lost their lives and five others were left in critical condition after a gunman opened fire on the Michigan State University campus Monday night.
MSU is the school of many stateline residents. They said that it was just a regular day on campus that quickly changed after 8 p.m.
It was not easy, but they sprung into action, trying not to think about the danger that was near.
“You’re worried about your safety, you don’t have time to cry, you just have time to do what you have to do to protect yourself,” said Katlyn Weitzel, Rockford native and MSU freshman.
Weitzel said that she is still in shock after hiding in her dorm room while the active shooter roamed the campus.
“We were like, ‘should we barricade the door?’ So, we slid the dresser in front of the door and I have one those locks, secondary locks for hotels,” Weitzel said. “So, it was just super eerie and you didn’t know what was going to happen. You’re just kind of hoping for the best and just waiting and praying.”
Those prayers were answered for Weitzel, who survived the ordeal. Three others on campus did not.
The university sent out a notification that read “hide, run, fight,” a message that Weitzel said was simply not detailed enough.
“And with social media, especially like Michigan State Snapchat story, and I was also listening to the scanner through our headphones when they were telling us to shut our lights off and, you know, be as quiet as possible, turn your ringer off,” she said. “I put my headphones in because that was our only way of being updated in the moment.”
Weitzel and her friends were on the way home on Tuesday. Classes were canceled through Friday, but the three students said that they will now walk to class in fear. Something that wasn’t the case, prior, students going as far to say they never felt unsafe walking on campus.
“The last thing you want to think about is, ‘should I not leave my dorm today? Am I gonna be unsafe? Is something like going to happen again?’ I think this will change me as a person,” Weitzel said.
All three students are grateful for loved ones and friends who have reached out. Will Thiede said that many teachers from his former high school, Boylan Catholic, checked in on him.