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'Hard to do': Flowers removed after Michigan State shooting

The flowers will be turned into mulch for the eventual planting of a memorial tree.
Credit: WZZM

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Students and staff on Thursday removed countless flowers that have been placed at key campus sites in honor of three students killed at Michigan State University.

The flowers will be turned into mulch for the eventual planting of a memorial tree, the university said.

Flowers and signs have been left at Berkey Hall, where two students were killed on Feb. 13, and at the MSU Union, where one student died, as well as at the campus Rock and the Spartan Statue.

“Other items will be preserved by MSU Archives and the MSU Museum,” the university said.

Five students also were wounded during the mass shooting.

“It’s hard to do this,” said Chris Hewitt, operations coordinator at the MSU Surplus Store and Recycling Center.

“You read a lot about shootings on campus, but you don’t think about the whole having-to-clean-up process," Hewitt told The Detroit News. ”It’s literally our job to clean up campus, and this is something that was going to happen."

A senior, Emma Holfer, cried near the statue as she explained why she volunteered.

“I thought it would just be a good thing to do in remembrance of everyone,” she said.

Separately, Michigan State said degrees would be granted posthumously to Arielle Anderson, 19, of Harper Woods, Brian Fraser, 20, of Grosse Pointe Park and Alexandria Verner, 20, of Clawson.

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