Ewing students return to class after Michigan State shooter found with note threatening schools

Police say their investigation indicated that Anthony McRae has not lived in the Ewing area in several years.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Ewing students return to class after Michigan shooter found with note
Ewing Township students headed back to class after schools were closed due to a threat concerning the Michigan State University shooter.

EWING, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Ewing Township public schools reopened on Wednesday with a visible police presence.

The schools closed on Tuesday after the man authorities say is responsible for the mass shooting at Michigan State University was found with a note threatening two of the district's schools: Fisher Middle School and Ewing High School.

Ewing Township police say the Michigan State University shooting suspect had a note threatening Ewing schools.

"A lot of police activity going on yesterday, school shut down. So this morning, I hope it's going back to normal," said Ewing High School parent Ben Nguyen.

On Tuesday morning, Ewing police received a call from New Jersey State Police.

"At that point, it was about 6 o'clock in the morning, and we didn't have much time to waste. We had to put a plan in action to make sure the safety of our students were taken into account," explained Ewing Police Chief Al Rhodes.

"As soon as we got it, we turned around pretty quickly and put that information out," added school district superintendent Dr. David Gentile.

"They called me around 6, and I was confused. Why are they closed? Because they didn't give enough information," explained parent Jenna Siaka. "But I'm happy that things unfolded later in the day- so I think it's a good thing they did."

We have now learned the accused shooter, 43-year-old Anthony McRae, who took his own life, used to live in Ewing Township.

"The shooter had local ties. He was a previous resident, it appears, of Ewing Township and may have suffered some mental illness," said Rhodes.

ABC News confirmed McRae had a three-page document expressing his reasons for the attack. The note also included additional locations in Michigan.

"The neighborhood was just like chaos. [People were asking,] 'What happened with the school bus? What happened with the kids. What happened with the school. Why it closed today?'" Nguyen said, describing how questions were initially swirling around the neighborhood.

A family member of McRae told 6abc off camera that he hasn't spoke to McRae in 15 years since he left Ewing. The relative said the family is questioning what more could have been done to keep McRae behind bars after he served time for a weapons charge.

"I'm upset. How could someone who left here 15 years ago want to come and kill people he doesn't even know? But I think the school district did the right thing," Siaka added.

There are counselors at the school to offer support if needed.

RELATED | What we know about the Michigan State mass shooting victims

Three students were killed and five more critically wounded in a Michigan shooting on the MSU campus in East Lansing, local police said.

Ewing police say that after further investigation it was determined the incident was isolated to Michigan.

WATCH: Authorities ID MSU shooter

Police have identified gunman who they said shot and killed three students at Michigan State University.

Police say McRae shot himself miles from campus while being confronted by officers.

Chris Rozman, deputy chief of campus police, says investigators still "have absolutely no idea" what McRae's motive was.

McRae was not a student or Michigan State employee.