Father of Michigan State University gunman says he saw no warning signs before deadly mass shooting

4 students still in critical condition, 1 stable

LANSING, Mich. – Police are still trying to determine why a man with no ties to Michigan State University would go there and start shooting people.

We know he lived a few miles from campus with his father, who spoke Friday (Feb. 17) to Local 4.

“In life, you can’t tell your kid what’s in his mind to do,” said Anthony McRae’s father, Michael McRae. “You love and take care of them the best way you can. You can be the best dad in the world, and when something like this happens, we can’t control their minds or what’s inside their brains. You don’t know what they are thinking.”

McRae answered all of our questions as we worked to see if there were red flags, warning signs that his son might possibly be capable of taking young lives, ruining lives, and shattering the feeling of safety at Michigan State University.

McRae says his son changed when his mother died two years ago, but he never saw any warning signs of his son becoming a killer.

Shawn Ley: “Do you think he was angry he didn’t get a job up at MSU?

McRae: “He was just mad about losing mommy, and he didn’t want to let his grief go. He missed his mom as he was a mama’s boy and being home alone. He couldn’t accept the fact that mommy was gone.”

We asked McRae if he saw the two 9mm handguns police found him with his son. McRae said that he did not see the guns, and living under the same roof, he rarely saw his son.

McRae said his son spent his entire time in his room, either playing video games or eating and using the bathroom in that room.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.