Troy Forbush: the first injured survivor from MSU shooting to speak publicly

Forbush details being shot, the events that followed, and what he’d like to see next
Forbush spent 10 days at Sparrow Hospital, where he underwent life-saving emergency surgery.
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 10:16 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - March for Our Lives was at Michigan’s capitol Thursday afternoon, advocating for gun safety legislation. There were at least 100 people actively supporting of the rally, and roughly 20 people actively opposing it.

It’s been just over one month since a mass shooting took place in East Lansing, on the campus of Michigan State University. Just four miles from the state capitol, most of the East Lansing community is still healing. Three students were killed, and five others were hospitalized. There has been a rally at the capitol at least weekly since February 13th, with even more in the surrounding areas.

This evening, however, Troy Forbush took the podium. Forbush was the first injured survivor to be discharged from the hospital, as he shared on social media. Shot in the chest in his classroom, Forbush said this is only the very start, the start of something that will stay with him for the rest of his life.

“This Is more than being at the wrong place at the wrong time. This could happen anywhere, at any time in this country,” said Forbush.

Forbush was one of the last to speak Thursday evening, just ahead of University of Michigan Student and March for Our Lives Press Associate, Mikah Rector-Brooks. News 10 attempted to record the entirety of his speech, roughly ten minutes in length, which can be watched below.

While his speech may be difficult to listen to for some, this is what Forbush will live with for the rest of his life.

He details being shot, the events that followed, and what he’d like to see next. He thanked many people, but also called on many others.

“A handgun being fired at me, and my peers through the doorway entrance in the back of our classroom. I fell to the ground from my seat, and tried to act as if I were already dead,” said Forbush, “As he panned the room with his handgun, I pled for my life and screamed, ‘Please, don’t shoot me.’ We were met face-to-face with pure evil. Seconds after being shot clean through the lung, two entrance wounds and two exit wounds. Laying in a state of shock that will never leave my mind and forever haunt me.”

There was lots of clapping and supportive shouting for Forbush, but also some shouting in support of gun rights. News 10 saw one gun rights activist exercising their right to open carry with a handgun on their waist. Most gun rights activists carried posters expressing their wish to protect themselves.

“I will never forget looking into the eyes of a peer, who had taken off his shirt to assist me in applying pressure to my fresh gunshot wound. He asked me my name to keep me alert and stayed near, asking if anyone had a belt to spare. I will never forget him grabbing my hands. The paramedics grabbing my feet, and the pain of being dragged to a side aisle, for easier means of care. They are life savers and I am forever grateful.” said Forbush.

The first thing Forbush did after being shot was call his mother.

It will be a few weeks before any gun safety measures reach the governor’s desk. The Michigan House passed a safe storage proposal Wednesday, as part of a larger package of gun safety bills. The House and Senate still need to sort out some differences before the proposed laws head to the governor’s desk, and the Michigan Legislature is on spring break.

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