“With us forever”: Hundreds of people line up to get tattoos for the families of victims of the MSU mass shooting

The line outside Ink Therapy Lansing was still visible at the door at 5:05 p.m. five hours after the original tattoo was inked. Some groups waited more than two hours to get a Spartan helmet or a green heart tattooed — art that supported the victims of the mass shooting on Michigan State University’s campus on Monday, Feb. 13.

A large crowd formed outside Ink Therapy on the Spartan Strong support event for East Lansing residents on February 19, 2023.

Owner Corey Warren pulls out a megaphone to call out the names of those who will be inked next. The crowd fills the room with cheers and excitement. Studio.

Ink Therapy offered preselected tattoo options, all centered around MSU. Each tattoo was $40 and half of the proceeds went to the victims’ families to help cover their Costs.

Warren is a father of children in school. He said that his first thought upon hearing about the MSU shootings was to imagine what it would be like for him to lose his child. Then he thought about the families of the victims and decided to organize an event to help them. Financially.

“I don’t care if it’s $10, $20, $100, or $1,000,” Warren said. “It doesn’t matter, let’s do something. Let’s all be part of this effort to help the families, the victims, and the entire community of Michigan State. We did not want to spend money to fix things. That is what we know. It’s what we do. Do.”

Corey Warren, Ink Therapy owner, calls customers during Spartan Strong 2023. — Audrey Richardson

They had hoped for a bigger turnout. The shop was open when 500 people lined up. By the time it opened, the line stretched around the block. Warren said he wouldn’t describe himself as excited, but humbled.

Warren said it’s not about Ink Therapy and it’s not about the tattoos. He stated that the event was for unifying the community. Strong.

“An event like this by nature is going to bring people together,” Warren said. “What we’re doing right now is, we are almost branding ourselves proud to be a Spartan … It’s putting that label on you that you’re going to have forever saying, ‘I’m proud to be a Spartan.’” 

Brittini Warren, Corey’s wife and shop manager of Ink Therapy, was the one who came up with the idea for the event. She was about to get a tattoo when she found out about the shooting. She became extremely emotional and wanted to do anything to support those affected by It.

“The community felt the same, which is so amazing,” Brittni said. “We didn’t expect this type of turnout at all. This is the most special thing we have ever done. We will probably be here until around the morning, I think. maybe.

Jennifer Bezerra, Veterinary medicine’s first-year, laughs alongside Lynsie Taylor, Veterinary medicine’s first-year Maryann Khong, as she gets a green-filled-heart tattoo on her back at Ink Therapy on February 19, 2023, after the Spartan Strong event. – Audrey Richardson

The artist will work 12 hours straight, while the groups will receive until midnight. She said the turnout has “pulled on every single one of her heartstrings.”

As customers waited to get their turn, they filled the donation box for the victims and the shop. Up.

Lynsie Taylor, a first-year student in veterinary medicine, received her first tattoo at this event. A sketch of Michigan and a green heart on East Lansing. She was born in Alabama. She wanted a tattoo to show that Michigan was her home away. tragedy.

Lynsie Taylor, a first-year veterinarian medicine student, gets a tattoo of Michigan on her right wrist at Ink Therapy’s Spartan Strong event on February 19, 2023. — Audrey Richardson

“(A tattoo) is something that you can use to say, ‘this is me’ without actually having to speak it,” Taylor. 

Taylor was made more confident by the turnout, which confirmed to her that she is part of a Spartan Community that wants to be together. Taylor saw that not only the university was affected but also individuals from Greater. Lansing.

Kaitlyn, a junior with special ed-learn disabilities, came to the Spartan Sunday shop. She wanted a peace symbol on her arm as a way to show solidarity with the community that is grieving. Although she wanted to get a tattoo, knowing that proceeds would be donated to families made her feel more confident. Take the decision.

“For me, it’s going to be about overcoming something so painful, remembering what happened, and not letting it just go. It will be with us for the rest of our lives, so it’s almost like a tattoo. It’s not something that will disappear. I don’t think that anyone should … forget about this,”  Jacques.

Rachel Jackson, a Sparrow Hospital employee, is still active in helping victims of the shooting. She said she is still in shock at Monday’s events. She decided to take the day to spend with her coworker to get a “Spartan Strong” Tattoo.

It’s just something that’s always there,” Jackson said. “It’s a constant reminder and then it’s always there for everyone to See also:

Some laughed at the silly faces of their friends when they were inked with the needle. Others thanked the tattoo artist for marking them with a permanent reminder that the Spartan is strong. community.

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