Sandy Hook Survivor at the Michigan State University Shooting

On February 14 2023, in the wake of a mass shooting at Michigan State University just hours before, several social media accounts claimed that a Sandy Hook survivor was a student there:

Two of the three tweets above featured a TikTok video by user @jmattttt, published in the very early hours of February 14 2023. It was captioned:

Fact Check

Claim: A Sandy Hook survivor attended Michigan State University, and was on campus during the February 2023 MSU shooting.

Description: A TikTok user, @jmattttt, identified as Jackie Matthews, a student athlete at Michigan State University (MSU), published a video in the aftermath of a mass shooting at MSU. In the video, she claimed that this was the second mass shooting she had lived through, the first being the Sandy Hook shooting.


Rating Explanation: The claim was reviewed by, which gathered multiple pieces of corroborating evidence, including entries of Jackie Matthews on a high school athletics roster for Newtown, Connecticut, and on a MSU sports webpage. The Sandy Hook school shooting occurred in Newtown.

Enough is Enough. #spartanstrong #sandyhookstrong I hope you stand with me in putting an end to this horrific epidemic of gun violence.

At the beginning of the video, @jmattttt said:

I am 21 years old, and this is the second mass shooting that I have now lived through. Ten years and two months ago, I survived the Sandy Hook shooting.

Later in the clip, she explained:

The fact that this is the second mass shooting that I have now lived through is incomprehensible … my heart goes out to all the families and the friends of victims [of] the Michigan State shooting — but we can no longer just provide love and prayers. It needs to be legislation, it needs to be action, it’s not okay, we can no longer allow this to happen. We can no longer be complacent.

On February 14 2023, the New York Times published “What We Know About the Michigan State University Shooting,” reporting that those on and near the MSU campus were forced to shelter in place for several hours after the shooting began:

On Monday night [February 13 2023], the usually busy streets of Michigan State University’s sprawling 5,200-acre campus fell silent after a gunman opened fire in two buildings, killing three students and wounding five others.

For hours, students, faculty and staff sheltered in place, many in dormitories and other campus buildings, as hundreds of police officers searched for the gunman.

Students across the campus in East Lansing, more than 80 miles northwest of Detroit, expressed fear. Among them was Jane Nodland, a senior nursing major, who on Monday night [February 13 2023] was at the university’s student union building to do homework with her boyfriend. She heard three gunshots and quickly dove into a corner before sprinting out of the building. “I thought I was going to die,” Ms. Nodland said. “It sounded like he was right there.”

A February 14 2023 item identified TikTok user @jmattttt as Jackie Matthews, a student athlete at MSU. Matthews’ name appeared on an athletics roster for Newtown, Connecticut in 2018, and the biographical section of Matthews’ entry on indicated:

Prior to MSU: Played basketball and ran track at Newtown High School … All-Academic Team honoree in all four seasons in both sports … Southwest Conference All-Colonial Team as a junior and All-Conference Selection as a senior in basketball … Graduated with her high school Heptathalon record.

Matthews was not the only MSU student re-experiencing the trauma of a mass shooting on campus. A February 14 2023 article in The Independent, “Oxford High School shooting survivors are among MSU students targeted in latest mass shooting: ‘Can’t believe this is happening again,'” reported:

Survivors of [the February 13 2023 MSU] mass shooting who were also students at Oxford High School when Ethan Crumbley murdered four classmates in November 2021 told how the latest shooting resurfaced feelings of terror.

Andrea Ferguson told the ClickonDetroit news site that her daughter and several of her friends had now been through two school shootings.

She said her daughter had just left class when she began getting texts about an active shooter, and was “unbelievably terrified” as the gunman stalked the campus for several hours … Another parent, Jennifer Mancini, told the Detroit Free Press that her daughter had been retraumatised after experiencing her second mass shooting event in just over a year.

Ms Mancini told the news site that her daughter had lost two close friends in the Oxford High School shooting.

“She said that she had PTSD. She said she can’t believe this is happening again,” Ms Mancini told the Free Press.

A February 14 2023 TikTok video by Sandy Hook survivor Jackie Matthews spread virally in the aftermath of a mass shooting at Michigan State University. In the clip, Matthews explained she survived the Sandy Hook shooting, and said: “The fact that this is the second mass shooting that I have now lived through is incomprehensible.”