MSU professor ‘haunted’ by gunshots 1 year later

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — A Michigan State University professor is dealing with survivor’s guilt one year after a deadly attack on campus.

He questions why he wasn’t shot when the gunman opened deadly fire inside of his classroom in Berkey Hall Feb. 13, 2023.

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“He shot and shot and shot and shot, and I just felt as though this was not real,” said Marco Diaz-Muñoz, assistant professor of Hispanic cultural studies. “That haunted me.”

Diaz-Muñoz said he’s working to pull himself together but can’t seem to shake what he called a nightmare.

“I think there’s a part of me that is not well,” Diaz-Muñoz said. “I feel antsy, nervous and on continuous alert.”

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Diaz-Muñoz told News 8 he’s relying on therapy to ease the anxiety and to cope with the loss.

“Those kids, I look at them as kids relative to me, some of them didn’t make it. How fair is that? Why were they the ones that passed and not me?” Diaz-Muñoz asked. “When you think in those lines, you feel guilty just for being alive. I felt guilty.”

The shooter killed Arielle Anderson and Alexandria Verner inside Diaz-Muñoz’s classroom. They’re two of three students the gunman killed on campus.

Arielle Anderson, Brian Fraser and Alexandria Verner.
Arielle Anderson, Brian Fraser and Alexandria Verner.

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Diaz-Muñoz said he struggles to grieve their deaths.

“I cried in those first few days, I cried that night and I grieve to some extent, but very quickly my mind, my psyche, was powerful enough to kind of like shut it down,” Diaz-Muñoz said. “So I’m addressing those feelings and finding a different explanation in therapy, like, ‘You couldn’t change it. You aren’t God to change what happened.'”

Now, Diaz-Muñoz is changing his perspective.

He said he is encouraging both himself and his students to appreciate the fragility of life.

“When I see mine now, I don’t take them for granted,” Diaz-Muñoz said. “We can be here today, and a few minutes later, we’re not.”

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