EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — “It’s been a dream to go here, and it’s been my favorite school for as long as I can remember.” MSU sophomore Nick Birkle told 6 News. Birkle took 6 News back to Abbott Hall where he was visiting a friend on February 13, 2023.
It was there he received a call from his brother about the shooting followed quickly by an email alert from the university.
That alert said, “Run, hide, fight.” Birkle said it was sent ahead of seeing ambulances, fire crews and police officers racing past Abbott Hall to Berkey Hall, just an eight-minute walk away.
Birkle says he braced a dresser and a desk against the door. “I think most people in the dorms did that … It’s something you wouldn’t ever think you would have to do. When you’re moving in you look forward to having a fun first year away from home and here we are 6 – 7 months later, barricading our door.”
After hours on campus, he was picked up by his brother to stay the night with him. In the days following the shooting, Birkle says he remembered how empty the campus was — similar to how he was feeling. And that gave way to reflection.
“I appreciate being alive right now,” Birkle said. “I appreciate being with my family. I appreciate that none of my friends, my direct friends, were not hurt or injured and it’s something you are not always appreciative of, but you should be.”
Birkle said the last year has been a difficult journey full of recovery and contemplation.
But through the memorials and the support and the community, a light has helped him and his fellow Spartans move forward together. “The sense of community and love and trust and everyone is here for everyone else really excelled at that time,” Birkle added. “It made me proud to be a Spartan really. That we could all come together so strong, so supportive and create a loving community after such a tragedy.”