Body Cam Footage Reveals MSU Shooter had a Sordid Legal Past with Guns

The Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office released body camera footage on Wednesday which depicts the 2019 arrest of Anthony McRae, who was responsible for opening fire at Michigan State University, resulting in the death of three students and injuring five more.

On June 7, 2019, at approximately 2 a.m., a Lansing Police Department officer detained McRae. The officer reported that he was on patrol in the region following a series of burglaries when he came across McRae and initiated an investigation.

The footage revealed the officer approaching McRae, who sitting on the stairs outside of an abandoned structure and smoking a cigarette. The officer began initiating a casual conversation and asking whether McRae worked at the location.

“No,” McRae replied, explaining he had just come from a convenience store nearby.

“You got any weapons on you right now?” the officer asked.

“Huh?” said McRae.

“You got any weapons on you or anything like that?” the officer repeated.

“Yeah,” McRae admitted after a brief pause. 

“What do you have?” the officer asked.

“A .380,” McRae replied.

McRae also admitted to not having a concealed permit, but told the officer he was “working on it.” The officer then detained McRae peacefully and without incident. 

Asked why he was carrying the pistol, McRae said it was for protection. 

McRae informed the officer that he had acquired the gun from a nearby Lansing pawn shop for $214 in March.

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Throughout their interaction, both McRae and the officer appeared relaxed and conversational. In a subsequent body camera footage, the officer agreed to conceal McRae’s bicycle in the bushes beside the abandoned building, allowing him to retrieve it following his release from prison.

The audio of McRae providing his personal details, including his birthday and address, was partially redacted before its public release.

The police report indicated that the gun, a loaded Ruger LCP .380, was seized. McRae also carried a second loaded magazine in his pocket, which was shown in a photo released by authorities. The serial number on the gun was obscured in the photo.

Originally, McRae was charged with a felony, but pleaded down to a misdemeanor and served probation until 2021. He had to surrender his weapon as part of his court order.

An attorney for McRae suggested that the charge should be thrown out since his client was illegally stopped and searched. The officer, however, said that he approached McRae for loitering. 

The Michigan Department of Corrections told the ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids Michigan, News 8, that McRae had no issues on probation and passed all of his required drug tests.

According to law enforcement, McRae entered Berkey Hall on the MSU campus at roughly 8:20 p.m. on Monday and started firing. He then proceeded to the MSU Union, where he fired additional rounds. His shooting spree killed three students and injured five others.

Approximately four hours following the shooting, police officers encountered McRae roughly four miles away from the campus in Lansing, where he fatally shot himself upon confrontation with law enforcement. 

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About the author: Dante Graves Dante is a movie and comic book junkie who loves a good explosion. His passion for politics and journalism led him here. Dante’s only aim is to be truthful and factual with his reporting.

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  • Ernest Moronez February 17, 2023, 1:23 pm

    Many people can’t obtain conceal carry permits not because of anything they did but because of their jurisdiction’s egregious permit schemes. Lawful Americans need to conceal carry regardless of their jurisdiction’s illegal and unfair permit schemes. Either you don’t carry out of fear of government and leave yourself open to injury and death (as well as your loved ones), or you keep calm and carry on while taking self defense gun classes. The fact that you’re human is the only permit you need to carry, regardless of stupid mandates designed to leave you defenseless and dependent on the government to do that which should come natural to you. No one will be there to defend you the moment you face an imminent threat. Police or government won’t pay you or your loved ones’ hospital bills if you or your loved ones happen to survive a violent threat. Let that sink in for a while….

  • Phil February 17, 2023, 7:59 am

    Will the MSU Board of Trustees be sued for denial of the victims right to self defense use of firearms? After all, the Campus is a “Gun Free Zone” It’s what’s known as a “Target Rich” environment.

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