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Michigan State University students describe campus shooting chaos

Two MSU students are back in Toledo after being on lockdown for more than four hours Monday night while an active shooter was on campus in East Lansing, Michigan.

HOLLAND, Ohio — "I always lock my door at night, but I'm never locking my door because I think there's going to be a murderer that comes in and kills me," Michigan State University freshman Gabby Gill said.

Four hours of terror Monday night on MSU's campus are still on repeat for two of the East Lansing college's students who are from Toledo.

They left campus just hours after the mass shooting that killed three and critically wounded five. They are still reeling from the shock of the violence.

Gill, an alumna of Notre Dame Academy, was in her dorm with a couple of friends when they received alerts from MSU to "Run, Hide, Fight."

She said it's hard to put into words the flurry of mixed emotions felt as a shooter wreaks havoc on a college campus.

"We just barricaded the doors, turned off all the lights and locked ourselves in the bathroom," Gill said. "We got our computers out immediately and turned on the police scanner. We were there in the bathroom for four hours."

Even after getting police gave an "all clear," Gill and her friends stayed in their dorm for another 45 minutes before packing up and driving back to Toledo.

Her friend, Zack Moon, an alumnus of St. John's Jesuit Academy, was at his fraternity house about half a mile away from campus studying for a test when the shooting began around 8:30 p.m.

Moon said his adrenaline was so high that he could only process one thing: stay alive.

"It didn't hit me. I was kind of like what, this is happening right now?" he said. "So I was just following everyone else's lead. I would have never expected that to happen in my life."

Both Gill and Moon said it was the scariest night of their lives.

In the middle of the chaos Monday night, Gill's mother, Jennifer, was trying to keep herself and her daughter calm.

But that's hard to do when you're two hours away.

"It was really hard not to hop in my car and drive up there," Jennifer said.

Now that her daughter is home, she's thankful. But her daughter's safety hasn't fully eased her concerns.

"I'm mad that they had to experience this," she said. "It just makes me sad, and mad, there are so many emotions going through my head. I'm just relieved that my baby is fine."

Gill and Moon said they never imagined they'd face a situation as violent and scary as they did on Monday.

"Our campus is giant," Gill said. "I live pretty far from the main strip so I always feel safe when I get back to my dorm and I'm with my friends. I've never felt like I was in danger."

MSU has canceled classes for the rest of the week, but Gill and Moon said they're still nervous to go back and worry that returning to campus may trigger trauma responses.

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