JoAnne Purtan's nephew shares first person account of being in MSU Union when shots rang out

Emergency response at MSU campus after shooting
Photo credit (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

The horror began unfolding at Berkey Hall on the campus of Michigan State University about 8:20 Monday night. After shooting students in a classroom, the gunman moved to the MSU Union where hundreds of kids were gathered to eat, study and socialize.

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JoAnne's nephew, Jack Harrell, was one of them. He estimates he was 20-30 feet from the kitchen where shots rang out. Everyone went silent after hearing the first shot. When two more shots followed, kids started running for the doors. "As soon as I got outside, there were sirens blaring and cops going really fast down Grand River."

Emergency Response at MSU following shooting
Photo credit MSU student Hannah Charlip

"There was a girl who ran out who did see him (the gunman). She ran outside of the Union and caught up with me and my group. I was there with my triathlon club. She said that she saw a guy walk in and pulled a gun out of his jacket. She actually saw him fire the three shots," he said. "When we stopped running, after we had gotten very far, she asked one of my teammates if she had been shot, because she was so adrenaline filled. She was just terrified."

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Thankfully the young woman was fine. But one MSU student shot in the kitchen at the Union died, along with two students shot at Berkey Hall. As of Tuesday morning, 5 other students remain in critical condition at Sparrow Hospital. The shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound when confronted by police in Lansing about three hours after the horror began.

Featured Image Photo Credit: (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)