Arielle Anderson had a gentle laugh and was full of ambitions: She was studying to become a doctor one day, her aunt said.
“Have you ever met a young person who was simply “Pure in Heart”… well that was @ariellediamond_ … simply PURE … she never raised her voice past a whisper or gentle laugh,” her aunt and reality TV star Chandra Davis said in an Instagram post. “She was a remarkable student, attending MSU to become a doctor.”
The Michigan State University Department of Police and Public Safety identified the three students killed Monday night as juniors Anderson and Alexandria Verner, and sophomore Brian Fraser.
Anderson and Fraser hailed from the same town of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, leaving their hometown with a double loss.
At the time of the shooting, five other students remained in the hospital, the release said. As of February 23, one of the injured students has been discharged, according to the university.
“We cannot begin to fathom the immeasurable amount of pain that our campus community is feeling,” the police release said.
These are the stories of the victims.
Davis said her family is heartbroken and struggling to deal with Anderson’s passing.
“How is it that she was in class doing what she was supposed to be doing and yet and still her life was taken by a coward who clearly didn’t understand the devastation he was about to cause my entire family,” Davis wrote.
“No parent should have to bury their children. It truly hurts y’all.”
Anderson’s family remembers her smile and just how hard she worked, the family told the university student paper, The State News.
“She was working diligently to graduate from Michigan State University early to achieve her goals as quickly as possible,” the family said in a statement. “As an Angel here on Earth, Arielle was sweet and loving with an infectious smile that was very contagious. We are absolutely devastated by this heinous act of violence upon her and many other innocent victims.”
Anderson, 19, was the youngest of three siblings and is survived by her mother, brother and sister, according to Davis.
She graduated in 2021 from Grosse Pointe North High School, according to district superintendent Jon Dean.
Verner was kind, positive and “everything you’d want your daughter or friend to be,” a family friend said.
“Her kindness was on display every single second you were around her,” Clawson Public Schools Superintendent Billy Shellenbarger told CNN. He is friends with the Verner family and has known Alexandria, or Alex, as he called her, since she was in kindergarten.
She was a junior at the university studying biology, according to The State News.
Verner, 20, touched a lot of people in the town of Clawson, Michigan, Shellenbarger said, which he described as a small, 2-mile by 2-mile community.
“To lose her on this planet, let alone our small community, it’s tough,” he said. “And it’s going to take a while to recover, but to have known her for the duration of time that we all have, once again, is a gift to all of us,” he said.
Verner’s family is “being about as strong as a human being can be in the face of this tragedy,” Shellenbarger said, adding he spoke with them Tuesday.
Shellenbarger was the principal at Clawson High School while Verner was a student there. She graduated in 2020.
Verner was a fantastic three-sport athlete in volleyball, basketball and softball, as well as an excellent student who was active in many leadership groups at the school, Shellenbarger said.
Shellenbarger sent a letter to families on Tuesday informing the community of her death and offering resources for students.
“Alex was and is incredibly loved by everyone. She was a tremendous student, athlete, leader and exemplified kindness every day of her life!” he wrote in the letter. “Her parents, Ted and Nancy, and sister Charlotte and brother TJ are equally grieving but are certainly already feeling the uplifting support of this tremendous community.”