House holds moment of silence to honor victims of Michigan State shooting

Mourners leave flowers at The Rock on the grounds of Michigan State University
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
Mourners leave flowers at The Rock on the grounds of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023.

House lawmakers held a moment of silence in the chamber on Monday to honor the victims of this month’s shooting at Michigan State University.

Three students were killed and five others were injured when a gunman opened fire at two locations on the Michigan State campus in East Lansing on Feb. 13.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), whose district includes the university’s campus, led Monday’s moment of silence while surrounded by other members of the Michigan delegation. Lawmakers stood in silence for nearly a minute to honor the victims.

“Today I rise to pay tribute to Michigan State University as tonight marks two weeks since a horrific shooting took the lives of three innocent students and injured five others,” Slotkin said.

The congresswoman said the victims — juniors Arielle Anderson and Alexandria Verner and sophomore Brian Fraser — “were taken from us far too soon.”

Slotkin, who earlier in the day announced a 2024 bid to replace retiring Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D), noted that the incident at Michigan State was the second school shooting she has had to oversee in her district in the past 15 months. In November 2021, a gunman fatally shot four students and injured seven other individuals at Oxford High School.

“Our community is Spartan strong, but grief remains palpable,” Slotkin said. “Even on my own team — my staff is here, MSU current and alumni. Almost 15 months ago, this same group of Michigan lawmakers with our friends and allies stood up here to mourn the loss of life at Oxford High School.”

“It seems beyond belief that I am a member of Congress who has now overseen two school shootings in her district in 15 months,” she continued. “Yet another horrific tragedy that has forever changed the families of the victims, their classmates, professors, the entire community.”

The congresswoman added “we cannot be desensitized to this senseless violence.”

More than 90 mass shootings have taken place in the U.S. this year as of Monday, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Congress passed and President Biden signed a gun safety bill last year that enhanced background checks for gun purchasers between the age of 18 and 21, created a federal offense for individuals who obtain firearms through straw purchases or trafficking and clarified the definition of a federally licensed firearm dealer, among other tenets.

Tags Debbie Stabenow Elissa Slotkin

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