Editor’s Note: The following story contains details about gun violence, and may be distressing for some readers.
Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin quickly turned his thoughts to the tragic events happening in his home state of Michigan after his team beat the host Vancouver Canucks 6-1 on Monday.
A gunman opened fire Monday night at Michigan State University, killing three people and wounding five more, before fatally shooting himself miles away amid an hourslong manhunt that forced frightened students to hide in the dark.
“This is a pretty sobering feeling right now tonight coming into the locker room, hearing the news,” said Larkin, a native of Waterford, Mich. — about an hour’s drive from MSU’s campus in East Lansing.
“We’re all just pretty devastated by it.”
Police announced the man’s death early Tuesday, four hours after the shooting broke out, first at Berkey Hall, an academic building, and then nearby at the MSU Union, a popular hub to eat or study.
It was the second time in just over a year Larkin was reacting to a mass shooting in Michigan while on the road.
While the Red Wings were in Boston in November 2021, a shooter at an Oxford high school killed four and injured seven.
“We dealt with this last year with Oxford, it just hurts the heart,” Larkin said. “We feel for everyone involved. I know we had tonight as a win but it’s kind of hard to talk about anything else. We’re all thinking about our home state right now.”
Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said news of the MSU shooting was “gut-wrenching.”
“I have kids that are approaching college age and it’s just heartbreaking,” he said.
Several other members of the sports community with ties to MSU or the community reacted to the tragedy on social media.
— With files from AP.