Alexandria Verner, one of the three deceased Michigan State University shooting victims, was remembered as a high school athlete and student leader who “was always the best of us,” according to a friend and statement from her high school superintendent.
Verner was one of the two deceased students identified by the Michigan State University Police and Public Safety Department in a news release. The other student named in the release was Brian Fraser.
“It’s so hard to imagine your not out there making the world a better place right now,” Verner’s friend, Tristen Perry, wrote in a Facebook tribute.
“Al was always the best of us. whenever we did stupid stuff she was the ‘good girl’ keeping us in check, You always made our days better. I can’t understand how you could be taken from us, but I know what you would do for us. There is no Tristen Perry without you, thank you for everything u gave this planet, and we’ll continue to give for you. Love you forever Alex Verner and fly high 😭🕊️❤️”
Family members later named the third victim, who was not identified by police, to WXYZ-TV as Arielle Diamond Anderson, 19. You can read tributes to all of the students who died here.
Police say Anthony McRae, 43, who had no known affiliation to campus, shot and killed the three students and injured five others in a random shooting attack on campus on February 13, 2023. They have not released a motive, but Interim Deputy Chief Chris Rozman said in a news conference that McRae likely later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after shooting and killing students both at Berkey Hall and in the student union.
Here’s what you need to know about Alexandria Verner:
Verner’s High School Superintendent Remembers Her as a ‘Tremendous’ Student, Athlete & Leader
According to Click on Detroit, Clawson School District Superintendent Billy Shellenbarger wrote in a letter to parents that Verner was a 2020 graduate of the high school there.
His letter continues:
Alex was and is incredibly loved by everyone. She was a tremendous student, athlete, leader and exemplified kindness every day of her life! Her parents, Ted and Nancy, and her sister Charlotte and brother TJ are equally grieving but are certainly already feeling the uplifting support of this tremendous community. She started at Baker Preschool, moved on to Schalm Elementary School and finished at Clawson Middle and High School. If you knew her, you loved her and we will remember the lasting impact she has had on all of us.
Heavy has contacted the school district for more details. A parent also shared the letter on Facebook.
The police news release confirmed that Verner was a graduate of Clawson High School.
In a Senior Spotlight, Verner, a Student-Athlete, Said, ‘Today May Be Hard but Tomorrow Will Be Better’
A senior spotlight shared on Facebook revealed that Alex Verner initially planned to attend Michigan State to “study forensic science.”
Playing high school sports “gave me the courage to be myself and help me be accountability to myself and for close relationships with many people,” Verner said in the spotlight, adding that she enjoyed “smiling with my team.”
“It’s ok to feel tired or pressure from the busy schedule of being a student-athlete but quitting will never make you feel better,” she said, according to the spotlight. “Today may be hard but tomorrow will be better.” The post notes that her sister “played by my side for two years.”
Verner Was a Junior at MSU Studying Biology & Anthropology
According to the police news release, Verner was a junior at MSU.
Click on Detroit said she was studying “biology and anthropology.”
“The Michigan State University Department of Police and Public Safety (MSU DPPS) is saddened to share information regarding the tragedy that occurred on campus Monday evening,” police wrote in the February 14, 2023, news release.
“We cannot begin to fathom the immeasurable amount of pain that our campus community is feeling. We want to ensure our community that our department as well as our law enforcement partners will conduct a comprehensive and thorough investigation regarding this tragic incident,” the release says. “Five victims remain in the hospital in critical condition.”
READ NEXT: Video Shows the Chaos After the Michigan State University Shooting.