At least three people have been killed after a shooting at a US university – with the gunman apparently dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

A manhunt was launched for the attacker who was described as a short black male in a cap, red shoes and a jean jacket.

Police said five people were also taken to hospital, some in a life-threatening condition.

The incident began at 8.18pm local time when shots were fired at Berkey Hall on the East Lansing campus .

Students and staff were told in a police tweet to “secure-in-place immediately” as officers responded to multiple 911 calls.

Police said the gunman then opened fire at the nearby university union and was last seen leaving the building on foot.

Large numbers are likely to have been locked down as about 50,000 people attend the East Lansing campus – which also hosts evening classes.

Police revealed at a later news conference that the gunman had been found dead off-campus with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Chris Rozman, from Michigan State University Police, said “numerous” officers responded within minutes and gave first aid at both shooting locations.

Two of the victims died at Berkey Hall and the other at the MSU union, said Mr Rozman.

He told reporters that “hundreds” of police and law enforcement personnel had been involved with hunting for the gunman.

The campus is about 90 miles (145km) northwest of Detroit.

Lisa McClain, US representative for Michigan, tweeted earlier: “There are reports of an active shooting on campus at Michigan State University.

“If you are there, police instructions are to Run, Hide, Fight. I am praying for all Spartans right now.”

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