OXFORD, Michigan–As a manhunt continued late Friday for the parents of a 15-year-old boy who is believed to have used a gun his father bought to kill several classmates, hundreds of people died. gathered in the center of the small town where it happened to remember the victims and try to make sense of the tragedy.
“I couldn’t understand why this would be a viable option in a child’s mind. It’s hard to understand,” said one attendee, Mike, who graduated in 1999 from Oxford High School.
That’s where police say sophomore Ethan Crumbley opened fire on classmates Tuesday, killing 16-year-old Tate Myre, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin, Hana St. Juliana is 14 years old and 17 years old. Justin Shilling. Several others were injured, including a teacher.
When Ethan Crumbley was in police custody, attention turned to his parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, who disappeared after they were charged with involuntary manslaughter on Friday for allegedly triggering their son’s attack.
Authorities say the parents not only bought their son the gun he used to terrorize and shed blood on his classmates, but also gave him immediate access to it. even when receiving a warning from the school about their son’s “alarming” behavior.
Many of those who attended the vigil on Friday night supported the charges against the parents.
“I think parents have to take full responsibility. I think it was the right decision. At least based on the facts I’ve heard,” Mike, a student at the University of Oxford, told The Daily Beast. “I think the first line of defense starts with the parents.”
He recalls being a high school student when the Columbine massacre occurred.
“I would never think again that this would happen. I think that’s one and done. I never thought it would be a trend.”
Deana Ottman, an Oxford resident for the past decade, told The Daily Beast her niece is a senior in high school attending Oxford High School, and was there on the day of the shooting. .
“It was horrible,” she said.
“People just freaked out, they just went through this with a shooter.”
– Deanna Ottman
The devastation was clearly visible moments earlier, when a medical emergency in a huge crowd raised fears of renewed violence. After someone fainted, followed by others screaming for help, many attendees mistook the panic for another attack and fled the area.
“People just freaked out, they just had this experience with a gunman,” Ottman said, describing it as a traumatic response among an already ready community. She said her niece was one of the children present at the ceremony who panicked before the commotion.
“She had a panic attack,” she said.
For her, the accusations against her parents are necessary, but they are another reminder of how many lives have been lost in senseless violence.
“It is a tragedy regardless. The parents were irresponsible. It was a tragedy. Their 15-year-old son will be in prison for the rest of his life. It’s hard because on the one hand I’m glad this was prosecuted and his parents… but it’s also a tragedy. It’s wasteful. And then there’s the loss of life. ”
“I’m sure they’re afraid of retaliation,” she said of the parents.
As of Friday night, James and Jennifer Crumbley have not yet faced charges of involuntary manslaughter, although their attorneys emphasized earlier that day that they were “not absconding” and were “shooting” back to the sorted area”.
Their whereabouts are not known. An unnamed law enforcement official quoted by CNN said police had managed to track their movements by pinging their cell phones, but they had turned off their phones Friday night – after withdrawing 4,000 dollars from an ATM outside Oxford just minutes.
However, many in the Oxford community have focused all their energies not on those believed to be responsible for the attack, but on supporting those who are grieving.
In addition to the vigil, community members also walked 15 miles south to McClaren Hospital to support the family of Justin Shilling, 17, the newest and fourth – to die in Tuesday’s shooting. at Oxford High School.
The captain of the bowling team, Shilling is also an organ donor. Community members gathered to support the Shilling family, as the teenager’s body was taken to the third floor for surgery.
“It obviously means a lot to them,” Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said, speaking to a grieving crowd of teenagers and their parents. “Thank you so much for being here on behalf of the family, they wanted me to convey that.”
The crowd gathered for nearly an hour in almost complete silence. Hugs were given. Snorting can be heard. But the atmosphere was still highly concentrated on the hospital’s third-floor tunnel.
At different times, members of the Shilling group would go to the window and wave. And the crowd, silent, would wave back.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/it-was-devastating-hundreds-grieve-for-oxford-high-school-shooting-victims-at-somber-vigil?source=articles&via=rss Hundreds grieve for the victims of the Oxford High School shooting at the Somber Night Vigil