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WASHINGTON: Three people were killed and five others wounded Monday when a gunman opened fire on a university campus in the United States, before fleeing the scene, local police said.

The suspect opened fire inside a building at Michigan State University shortly after 8 p.m. local time, said Chris Rozman, interim deputy chief of campus police.

The gunman then moved on foot to a nearby building where more shots were fired.

“There are three confirmed fatalities,” Michigan State University police said in a statement on Twitter. “This is in addition to the five victims who have been transported to the hospital.”

Some of the wounded had suffered life-threatening injuries, Rozman told reporters.

Police released a photo of the suspect, a short Black man, wearing red shoes, a denim jacket and a baseball cap.

“We currently have hundreds of police officers and law enforcement officials – state, local and federal – on campus working in a coordinated effort to ensure the safety of campus and identify and apprehend the suspect,” Rozman said.

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Police responded quickly to the scene and students and staff were ordered to shelter in place.

Officials said all campus activities will be canceled for the next 48 hours.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was briefed on the shooting and said police were working to secure the area.

“Let’s wrap our arms around the Spartan community tonight,” she wrote on Twitter, referring to the university’s athletic logo.

School and university shootings are alarmingly common as part of a broader wave of gun violence in the United States, where the proliferation of firearms has soared in recent years.

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