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Michigan teen suspects in violent homophobic assault on LGBTQ+ students identified by police

Michigan State University Library System
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The seven youths reportedly disparaged the students’ sexual identity before following them upstairs and attacking.

Campus police at Michigan State University say they have identified the suspects they believe assaulted two students because of their sexual orientation earlier this week. The incident took place in the MSU Main Library but campus police say none of the suspects are students at the school.

“The suspects assaulted two victims, potentially selecting the victims because of the suspects’ sexual orientation bias,” MSU Police and Public Safety (MSU DPPS) said in a statement yesterday, adding that “none of the suspects are affiliated with MSU.”

A spokesperson for MSU said a group of five high school-aged teens approached two students on the first floor of the MSU Main Library around 5:50 p.m. on Monday. The teens reportedly made disparaging remarks about the two students’ perceived sexual identity.

“The two MSU students then went to the third-floor study area to meet with some other friends,” MSU’s Emily Guerrant was quoted by WKAR.

The teens allegedly followed the students to the lounge and then attacked. Officials provided few details on the alleged attack or about the reported injuries of the two students, but Guerrant did say the crime could be based on the sexual identity of the students.

“Both MSU students believed they were targeted because of their sexual orientation," Guerrant said, according to the Lansing State Journal.

The MSU Main Library is open to the public 24 a day, but access is limited to those with a keycard after 6 p.m. Campus police said the teens accessed the library before the keycard access restrictions went into effect for the evening.

The keycard access restrictions were put into place earlier this year in response to the mass shooting that took place on February 13, 2023, when Anthony Dwayne McRaeshot shot and killed three people and injured five more on the MSU campus. McRaeshot later died by suicide after he was confronted by police on campus.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and that they will turn over their findings to the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office with a request for charges against the suspected attackers. It is unclear if MSU will request hate crime charges as well.

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