The state of Michigan will pay $15 million to the families of three murdered students

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Michigan State University has reached a $15 million settlement with the families of three students who were killed in a campus shooting in February.

Dan Kelly, a university trustee, announced the deal Friday during a public board meeting, according to spokeswoman Emily Gerkin Guerrant.

“While no amount of compensation can replace the loss of a life, we hope this brings some closure, support and relief to these affected families,” Kelly said in a statement.

“The university extends its deepest condolences to each of the three families,” she said, adding that she remained committed to ensuring that the memories of her children were not forgotten in the school community.

Mr. Kelly also said that “the university remains committed to improving safety on campus and providing mental health support to our community as we continue to heal.”

David Femminineo, a lawyer for one of the families, said his clients would receive $5 million. They intend to use the funds to honor their loved one and help other students, he said.

On February 13, a gunman opened fire shortly before 8:30 p.m. in Berkey Hall, home of the university's College of Social Sciences, killing two students there, authorities said. The gunman, later identified as Anthony McRae, 43, then moved to the Michigan State Student Union, a popular place for students to eat and study, where he killed a third student. The two buildings, which are minutes apart on Grand River Avenue, were unlocked and opened to the public.

Students and faculty and staff sheltered in place, many of them in dormitories and other campus buildings, as hundreds of police officers searched for the gunman. After a three-hour chase, university police said that Mr. McRae had been found off campus around 11:30 pm that night and that he had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Authorities identified the three victims as Arielle Diamond Anderson, a sophomore from Harper Woods, Michigan; Brian Fraser, a sophomore from Grosse Pointe, Michigan; and Alexandria Verner, a junior from Clawson, Michigan. Five other students were injured in the attack.

Ven Johnson, an attorney for the Anderson and Fraser families, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the settlement on Sunday.

Femminineo, who represents the Verner family, said in a statement Sunday that “this case was never about blaming Michigan State University for the tragic events” of Feb. 13.

“Instead, the Verner family has sought answers about how this could be prevented in the future,” Femminineo said.

“With this resolution,” he added, “the Verner family will be able to begin to heal and also promote Alex's legacy so that Alex can act as an example for future students moving forward and can try to mirror the example that Alex set in his short but impactful life”.

During a press conference at Femminineo's office on Friday, Verner's parents said they planned to use their portion of the settlement to honor their daughter through initiatives such as a student scholarship.



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