Oxford superintendent posts public message days after deadly shooting

·3 min read

Tim Throne, superintendent of Oxford Community Schools, addressed community members in a video message posted Thursday, one of the first public messages of a school official following Tuesday's tragic shooting.

In the video, Throne stressed that the suspected shooter did not have a disciplinary record at the Oxford High School, where four students were killed. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said Wednesday that the 15-year-old suspect met with high school officials the day before and morning of the shooting to discuss his behavior.

"There's just been a lot of talk about the student that was apprehended, that he was called up to the office and all that kind of stuff," Throne said in the 12-minute message. "No discipline was warranted. There are no discipline records at the high school. Yes, this student did have contact with our front office. And yes, his parents were on campus."

Throne said that was all he could say about the suspect. The message follows Tuesday's tragic shooting at Oxford High School, where a student allegedly opened fire, leaving four teenagers dead and seven others injured. He said that administrators performed CPR in the chaotic aftermath of the shooting, and expressed pride for the quick response of students and staff.

The cold winds did not discourage youth and community members from bringing flowers and praying at a makeshift memorial at Oxford High School on Dec. 2, 2021, after 4 students were shot dead and several injured when Ethan Crumbley allegedly open fire on the students and teachers at the school earlier this week.
The cold winds did not discourage youth and community members from bringing flowers and praying at a makeshift memorial at Oxford High School on Dec. 2, 2021, after 4 students were shot dead and several injured when Ethan Crumbley allegedly open fire on the students and teachers at the school earlier this week.

"To say that I am still in shock and numb is probably an understatement," Throne said.

Earlier in the day, members of the media had pressed Bouchard on the district's silence around the shooting and what high school officials may have known about rumored threats before the shooting. District officials have not responded to questions asked by the Detroit Free Press over the past two days.

Throne said he was about to visit with the first of the parents of the deceased students. The four victims are Tate Myre, 16, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Hana St. Juliana, 14, and Justin Shilling, 17.

"I'll be doing that three more times," he said.

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The superintendent also pledged to reach out to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office on Thursday night to ask them to release video, though it's unclear what video Throne is referring to.

"I promised our staff today that I would reach out to the sheriff's office later tonight," he said. "And I will. And I will ask them to release whatever video that they feel comfortable with releasing."

Photos of the victims of an active shooter at Oxford High School are shown with flowers during a candlelight vigil at Children's Park in Lake Orion on December 2, 2021.
Photos of the victims of an active shooter at Oxford High School are shown with flowers during a candlelight vigil at Children's Park in Lake Orion on December 2, 2021.

The superintendent compared the high school's current state to a "war zone." Students, educators and other staff created the disarray on Tuesday as they attempted to barricade themselves in classrooms. One student said he and his classmates passed around math textbooks as last-ditch shields or makeshift weapons for self defense.

The district leader said he spoke to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday. Throne said she pledged to open up supply chains to get the school back into a state to which students can return. After the funerals of those who died, Throne said the school will start to plan a return.

"I want to allow our our staff the opportunity to attend those funerals to be with our kids and parents to be with one another," he said. "And so after that, we will begin a process for bringing our students back in."

The superintendent ended the message saying, "Today may be a dark day in Oxford, but it's still a great day to be a Wildcat."

Contact Lily Altavena: laltavena@freepress.com or follow her on Twitter @LilyAlta.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Oxford Superintendent Tim Thorne speaks following deadly shooting

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