Written by Alexis Barton
On November 30th, a student opened fire at Oxford High School in Oxford Township, MI. Thus far, four students were killed and 7 other individuals were injured. Reports suggest that the victims were selected at random based on their mere location, but the event itself was anything but random or spontaneous. Preliminary results of the police investigation suggest that the alleged shooter, a fifteen-year old student, had made plans through videos and journal entries to cause mass violence at the school. Leading up to the event, according to Fox News Detroit, the shooter had several meetings with teachers and school administrators regarding his “concerning behavior” (2021). The shooter has been charged with 4 counts of first-degree murder and terrorism so far.
The shooter used a gun that his father had purchased just days prior as part of a Black Friday sale. The easy access, as described by Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald, that he had to said firearm is part of a larger debate surrounding gun control in the United States. According to Michigan law regarding firearm use and storage within the home, firearms should be locked and stored separately from their ammunition. Further, individuals “may be criminally and civilly liable for any harm caused by a person less than 18 years of age who lawfully gains unsupervised access to your firearm if unlawfully stored” (Michigan Department of State Police, 2001). If McDonald’s description of the shooter’s access proves to be accurate, his parents may also face criminal charges for their blatant negligence.
The four victims have been identified as 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin, 16-year-old Tate Myre, 17-year-old Justin Shilling, and 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana. Several individuals who were injured still remain in critical condition. Several levels of law enforcement agencies are now involved in the investigation to ensure the best path towards justice for the victims and community of Oxford.