Sheriff’s deputies were called to the Oakland County high school just before 1 p.m. Tuesday, November 30, 2021, and the suspect was taken into custody within less than five minutes.
The suspect is a 15-year-old sophomore, Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe said at a press conference.
The deceased victims are Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Tate Myre, 16, and Hana St. Juliana, 14. A fourth victim, 17-year-old Justin Shilling, died on December 1, the sheriff’s office said. You can read more about them here.
During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, McCabe said the suspect was apprehended only five minutes after the shooting was first reported. McCabe said there is regularly a sheriff’s deputy stationed at the school, and that deputy — along with another assisting deputy — took the suspect into custody.
Many parents learned about the active shooter through an alert sent by the school. Others learned when their children sent them frantic texts or calls. The alert said parents should not go to the school, and later instructed them how to pick up the evacuated students. Many students left the school running through the snow, according to witness accounts. More than 300 law enforcement agencies responded to the scene, according to a handout from law enforcement, including a SWAT and aviation unit.
Oxford is a small village about 30 miles north of Detroit with a population of less than 3,400 people, the news station reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
A Sheriff’s Deputy Stationed at the School Took the Suspect Into Custody Less Than 5 Minutes After He Opened Fire
McCabe said that the suspect surrendered to deputies and a handgun was recovered.
“He did not give us any resistance when he was taken into custody,” McCabe said.
But after the arrest, the parents of the juvenile suspect told authorities they did not want them to speak to their son. Consent from parents is required for juveniles, McCabe said, and the teen invoked his 6th Amendment rights not to speak to police without an attorney present.
McCabe said they were continuing their investigation and conducted a search warrant at the suspect’s house in the hours after the shooting. McCabe said the suspect “is not cooperating with us.”
“We will get to the bottom of this,” he said.
The district attorney will determine whether the alleged shooter will be charged as an adult, McCabe said at an evening news conference.
McCabe also addressed rumors that there was a prior threat made by the student that was ignored by officials, and said there was no evidence to support that. A fake screenshot of an Instagram page that did not belong to the suspect was circulating on social media.
“Please don’t believe everything you hear,” he said.
In early reports, officials told Fox 2 Detroit that between four and six people were injured. Authorities later determined 11 people had been shot. A suspect was taken into custody, and authorities recovered a handgun. The high school was placed on lockdown.
WXYZ reported parents were asked not to go to Oxford High School. Instead, they are asked to pick up evacuated students at Meijer on N. Lapeer Road.
Just before 2 p.m., The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office told the news outlet they were conducting a secondary search for any additional victims.
“Officials don’t believe there are any other threats at this time, but they are still searching the school,” Click on Detroit reported at the time. “A lockdown was issued, and has not yet been lifted.”
Sources told the news station that a student had been shot in the face.
Michigan state troopers were also called to the scene to assist, the police department wrote on Twitter. MSP Metro Detroit shared information from the early investigation on Twitter.
The Twitter thread said:
The Michigan State Police is aware of the incident taking place at Oxford High School. The Oakland County Sheriff Office is the primary agency for this incident. There is always a large amount of confusion and misinformation as these on going incidents unfold.
The following is from the Oakland County Sheriff Office:
‘We responded to an active shooter at Oxford High School in Oxford Township at 12:55PM today. We have one suspected shooter in custody along with a handgun. We do not believe there are any other at this time.’
‘There are multiple victims (4-6). No confirmed fatal shooting victims at this time. News media can stage in the parking lot across the street from the Meijer next to McDonald’s at 655 N. Lapeer Rd. We will do a briefing at that location shortly.’
‘We are still doing a secondary search of the school for any further victims. All evacuated students will be located at the Meijer store for reunification with parents or relatives.’ Make sure to follow official reports for the most accurate information.
Students were being taken from the high school by bus, according to Click on Detroit.
A Parent Shared Frantic Messages From a Student on Twitter in the Minutes After the Shooting
Parents reported that they had received frantic calls and texts from their children at Oxford High School as early word spread of an active shooter.
“My daughter just texted us saying there is an active shooter at her old high school… Currently all police departments are responding. I can’t count the number of sirens I heard heading that way. Oxford High School,” one person wrote on Twitter, identifying himself as a parent of a former student.
McCabe said 911 received about 100 calls reporting an active shooter. Many locals posted on Twitter expressing shock and horror at the rampage in their home town. Michigan officials also made statements asking for prayers, thanking first responders and committing themselves to resolving the issue of gun violence.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined law enforcement for their afternoon press conference. At the end of a statement, a reporter asked how the school shooting was impacting her, as a parent herself.
“It’s a parent’s worst nightmare,” she said tearfully.
Michigan Senator Rosemary Bayer wrote on Twitter she was “absolutely horrified” at the reports of the shooting.
“Absolutely horrified by what is happening. On the phone right now getting details and offering assistance,” Bayer wrote. “Oxford High School on lockdown due to active shooting situation, reports of multiple victims.”
Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence wrote on Twitter her “heart breaks” over the school shooting.
“My heart breaks for the Oxford High School community and I am monitoring this tragedy closely,” she wrote.
Representative Haley Stevens wrote on Twitter she was praying for the community.
“I am praying for the Oxford High School community and will continue to monitor this tragic situation. Thank you to our Oakland County first responders and those who are working to reunite students with their families,” she wrote. Absolutely heartbreaking news.”