Sandy Hook Survivor Talks Living Through Michigan State University Shooting


After surviving the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in 2012, one young woman opened up about living through the Michigan State University shooting.

MSU student Jackie Matthews, 21, spoke with “Today” about the moment she received a “notice of active gunshots at Berkey Hall,” an academic building nearby. She had just returned to her off-campus home when she got the news.

“That’s when all of my roommates and I locked our doors, shut the lights off and started contacting everybody that we knew to make sure they were OK,” she recalled.

Continuing, she said, “Texts spread like wildfire. We had friends in the building as well, so it happened very quickly and escalated very rapidly.”

Matthews shared this was “muscle memory” for her after enduring this once before.

Auburn Coaches Draw Legal Fire from Powerful Atheist Group Over Spontaneous Mass Baptism

“It was immediate instinct,” she explained. “I just ran downstairs, locked every door, shut all the blinds, turned all the lights off and came upstairs. We just locked ourselves in our rooms and tried to keep in touch with everybody that we could at the time, hoping everything was OK and trying to figure out and make sense of what was going on.”

She also spoke about her thought process while the shooting was taking place.

“What was going through my mind was: ‘Are my friends OK? Are my professors OK? Who at Michigan State is being affected,’” she said.

She added, “Immediately after, I was just heartbroken that another community will have to try and recover from such a tragic experience.”

On Feb. 13, 43-year-old, Anthony Dwayne McRae, opened fire on MSU campus, killing three students and injuring five others. McRae was later found dead from an apparent suicide. He was not connected to the school, according to CNN.

Matthews was just 11 when a shooter entered into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 students and six school staff members. At the time, she was in a different building from where the shooting occurred.

“There are no words to ever describe the amount of emotion that I have felt over the past 24 hours, to just know that there are other people in this situation,” she said. “I mean, there are many Oxford students who attend Michigan State and many people who have reached out to me, saying that I am not one only one who has experienced this.”

In 2021, a 15-year-old student entered Oxford High School, located outside of Detroit, Michigan, and shot four students dead and injured seven other people, including one teacher.

Biden Admin Cancels $37M in Student Debt for Just Over 1K People

Matthews revealed she is now scared to return back to school after enduring this tragedy for a second time.

“I am afraid. I wish I didn’t have to say that, but the fact that my education has now been interrupted twice in the form of a mass, tragic event is terrifying,” she said.

However, Matthews said she knows this is the time for the community to band together.

“After Sandy Hook, there was an overwhelming, incredible support from our community. That’s something I keep emphasizing to all of my friends here at MSU — we just need to be persistent. We are a strong community,” she said.

She added, “We’re smart and strong and we will always be.”

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Comment Down Below