By Carson Eschen and Wendy Moya
OXFORD TOWNSHIP, MI – Police responded to a flood of emergency calls about a shooting at a local high school in Oxford, Michigan Tuesday afternoon, and the response from the President, Governor and District Attorney has been swift and significant.
According to reports, the suspect, a 15-year-old student bearing a semiautomatic handgun, opened fire at Oxford High School, killing four and injuring several others, mostly students. Some are still in serious condition. Three died Tuesday, and another Wednesday.
Most of the victims were minors, students at Oxford High School. There was one adult victim, a teacher who was grazed in the shoulder by one of the bullets.
Reports indicate that both the suspect’s parents and the suspect himself had met with school officials regarding his behavior in the classroom on separate occasions right before the shooting.
Various sources also say that video footage was discovered in which the suspect talks about shooting and killing students at the high school he attended. And news reports indicate the weapon used to commit the act was purchased a few days before the attack by the suspect’s father.
On Tuesday, President Biden responded to the mass shooting at Oxford High School that had been carried out earlier that day, saying “My heart goes out to the families enduring the unimaginable grief of losing a loved one.”
Biden gave his brief remarks at the Dakota County Technical College in Minnesota, where he originally planned to promote the bipartisan infrastructure bill, adding that the “community has to be just in a state of shock right now.”
His statement followed that of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who said: “As Michiganders, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect each other from gun violence. No one should be afraid to go to school, work, a house of worship, or even their own home.
“Gun violence is a public health crisis that claims lives every day. We have the tools to reduce gun violence in Michigan. This is a time for us to come together and help our children feel safe at school,” the governor added.
The suspect is still in custody, and has invoked his right to remain silent.
Prosecutors have filed murder and terrorism charges against the suspect, in addition to several accounts of assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. They have also chosen to try him as an adult, given the severity of the crime.
Karen D. McDonald, the Oakland County prosecutor, has stated that there is a “mountain” of evidence indicating that the attack was premeditated. In particular, the prosecution has reviewed a journal and cellphone footage of the suspect talking about shooting and killing students.
She added that the prosecution decided to add the terrorism charge to hold the suspect accountable for the emotional scars he had inflicted on all of the students.
“What about all the children at home right now who can’t eat and can’t sleep and can’t imagine a world where they can ever step foot back in that school? Those are victims too, and so are their families and so is the community. And the charge of terrorism reflects that,” the DA said.