(CNN) — Alexandria Verner was kind, optimistic and “everything you would want your daughter or friend to be,” a family friend said.
“Her kindness came through every second you were around her,” Billy Shellenbarger, superintendent of Clawson Public Schools, told CNN. Shellenbarger is a friend of the Verner family and has known Alexandria, or Alex as he calls her, since she was in kindergarten.
Verner was one of three Michigan State University students killed in a mass shooting on campus Monday night, authorities said Tuesday.
The Michigan State University Police and Public Safety Department identified the three students who died as Arielle Anderson, a junior, Brian Fraser, a sophomore and Verner, who was also a junior.
Anderson and Fraser were from the same city of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, leaving their hometown a double loss.
Five other students remain in the hospital in critical condition, according to the statement.
“We cannot begin to comprehend the enormous pain felt by our campus community,” the police statement said.
These are the stories of the victims.
Verner had an impact on many people in the city of Clawson, Michigan, Shellenbarger said, describing it as a small 2-by-2-mile community.
“Losing her on this planet, let alone in our little community, is hard,” he said. “And she will take a while to recover, but to have known her for as long as we all have, once again, is a gift to all of us,” she added.
Verner’s family is “being as strong as a human being can be in the face of this tragedy,” Shellenbarger said, adding that she spoke with them Tuesday.
Shellenbarger was the principal of Clawson High School while Verner was a student there. He graduated in 2020.
Verner was a standout athlete in three sports — volleyball, basketball and softball — as well as an excellent student who was active in many leadership groups at school, Shellenbarger said.
shellenbarger sent a letter families this Tuesday by informing the community of his death and offering resources for students.
“Alex was and is incredibly loved by everyone. She was a great student, athlete, leader and exemplified kindness every day of her life!” she wrote in the letter. “Her parents, Ted and Nancy, and her sister Charlotte and her brother TJ are equally heartbroken, but they certainly already feel the uplifting support of this tremendous community.”
“If you knew her, you loved her, and we will always remember the lasting impact she has had on all of us,” he wrote.
Fraser served as president of Phi Delta Theta’s Michigan Beta Chapter, the fraternity said in a statement.
He was a leader and a great friend to his brothers, the Greek community and the people he interacted with on campus, the fraternity said.
“Phi Delta Theta sends its deepest condolences to the Fraser family, the Michigan Beta Chapter, and all those who loved Brian as they deal with his loss,” the statement read.
Fraser was a sophomore from Grosse Pointe, which is in the Detroit area, college police said.
He graduated in 2021 from Grosse Pointe South High School, according to district superintendent Jon Dean.
Anderson, a junior at Michigan State University, was also from Grosse Point, university police said.
He graduated in 2021 from Grosse Pointe North High School, according to Dean.
“How could this happen in the first place, a senseless act of violence that has no place in our society and especially has no place in school?” Dean said. “But then he touched our community not once, but twice.”
Five more seriously injured
Four of the five students injured in the shooting required surgery and some immediate intervention, Dr. Denny Martin, interim president and medical director of Sparrow Hospital, said Tuesday.
“Without going into the specific details of his injuries, I will say that it took a team of numerous anesthesiologists, trauma surgeons, general surgeons, cardiothoracic surgeons and a neurosurgery team to manage the full extent of the injuries,” he told CNN’s Kate Bolduan. .
One student who was injured “did not require immediate surgical intervention” and was taken directly to ICU, he said.
Martin noted that it is too early to give a long-term prognosis on his conditions.
“Everyone is under the care of trauma and intensive care teams here,” Martin said. “Some are more critical than others, but again, it’s too soon…in their recovery from this event.”
Michelle Watson, Amanda Watts, Sara Smart and Jillian Sykes, all for CNN, contributed to this report.