The Michigan State University gunman became bitter, isolated and “evil angry” after his mother died from a stroke two years ago, according to his father Michael McRae, who spoke to CNN by phone in an interview Tuesday morning.
“Ever since my wife died, my son began to change,” Michael McRae said. “He was getting more and more bitter. Angry and bitter. So angry. Evil angry … He began to really let himself go. His teeth were falling out. He stopped cutting his hair. He looked like a wolf man.”
Anthony Dwayne McRae, 43, lived with his father in a small house in Lansing, Michigan. His father said his son had trouble holding down a job and wasn’t employed, but had worked for about seven years previously at a warehouse loading refrigerators into trucks.
Michael McRae said about 30 police officers came to his house and went through his son’s bedroom following the shooting on Monday night that left three dead and five others wounded.
Michael McRae said his son grew reclusive when his mother, Linda, died. After she passed away, he said his son “was lost, totally lost.”
“He didn’t care about anything no more. And he wouldn’t talk to me or anyone,” McRae said, adding that his son would stay in his bedroom for hours on end playing video games.
“He only came out to go to the kitchen or go to the bathroom, then he’d go right back in,” the senior McRae said.
Michael McRae said he had grown very concerned about his son, but when he suggested Anthony McRae go to see a doctor, his son refused.
“He got mad if I tried to get him help,” he said. “I was trying to help him. He’d close the door. He stayed in his room a lot.”
“I didn’t want to start trouble – he’d get mad at me,” he added.
McRae said his son had had a gun several years ago, but police had taken it away. Court documents show the younger McRae pleaded guilty to a firearms charge in 2019. The father said he believed his son had obtained another gun but kept it in his room and denied to his father that he had it.
McRae said his son’s moods would turn quickly, and he wouldn’t speak with his father when he got angry.
“I don’t know what happened to make him turn like this,” he said.
“He’d treat me like I was invisible. I’d ask, ‘why are you treating me this way? What did I do?’” he said.