Yesterday, three students were killed and eight others were wounded after a school shooting in Oxford Township, MI. According to reports, at approximately 1:00pm local time
Tuesday afternoon, a 15-year-old sophomore student opened fire inside Oxford High School. Authorities have not released the suspect’s name, but officials say deputies arrested
him within minutes of arriving at the school in response to a flood of 911 calls about the shooting.
More than 100 police officers, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and paramedics responded. Official reports say the three students who were killed were 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 16-year-old Tate Myre, and 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin. Local police say it appeared the suspect worked alone and may have allegedly impersonated a police officer during the shooting, but this has not yet been confirmed by authorities.
Investigators are still interviewing students for clues to a motive, as officials say the teen was under suicide watch but had no prior run-ins with police. According to the Oakland County Sheriff, the suspect's firearm was his father’s handgun that he had purchased four days ago. In response to the shooting, the school was placed on lockdown and the district said in a statement that all of its schools would be closed for the rest of the week. In a recent statement, an Oakland County Prosecutor said her office expects to issue charges quickly and that an update would be given Wednesday.
According to reports, earlier this month Oxford schools published a note to parents that it was aware that "numerous rumors" had "circulated throughout our building this week," and the school was reviewing the concerns. Officials say those earlier threats followed “a bizarre vandalism incident” in which a deer head was thrown off the school roof and windows were covered with red acrylic paint. Authorities have said the vandalism incident is unrelated to the shooting, however, investigators are still trying to determine a motive for Tuesday’s violence. According to reports, police are searching the suspect’s cellphone, school video footage, and social media posts for any evidence of a possible motive. The Oakland County Sheriff said authorities were made aware of allegations on social media that there had been threats of a shooting at the roughly 1,700-student school, but he said officials did not know about the rumors until after the shooting.
School safety has continued to be the number one goal for school administrators and law enforcement across the U.S. Authorities have been searching through social media for threats against schools, and ask students and parents to “have a heightened sense of awareness and report all threats, even anonymously.” Given the rise in school shootings that was occurring before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is important for school administrators and police to remain alert and ensure the safety of students, staff, and visitors at their schools. As a result of the continued threat of active shooter events in school facilities, especially as schools begin return to in-person learning, both federal and state entities have taken steps to raise awareness of and combat this threat by providing active shooter training for educators, school staff and school administrators.