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Cellphone video has gone viral on social media showing frightened students fleeing a classroom through a window after they became alarmed that the shooter in Tuesday's deadly attack at a Michigan high school was at the door, trying to lure them out.
But Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said the person at the door was not the gunman — he most likely was a plainclothes detective who was trying to put the students at ease.
"I want to clear up some of the incorrect information that keeps circulating," Bouchard said at a news conference Wednesday. "We’ve now been able to determine that was not the suspect."
In the video, which was shared on TikTok shortly after the shooting at Oxford High School, several students are seen huddled in a first-floor classroom.
A voice in the hallway is heard saying: "Sheriff’s office. It’s safe to come out."
Someone in the classroom yells that they are not willing to "risk" leaving the room.
The person in the hallway then asks the students to "come to the door and look at my badge, bro," causing several people in the room to panic.
"He said bro — red flag," one person in the classroom says.
The students then rush toward a window and jump outside, running toward another entrance to the building, where a law enforcement officer ushers them in and tells them they are safe.
Bouchard said Wednesday that the detective probably used the word "bro" to calm the situation.
"More than likely, it was one of our plainclothes detectives, and he may have been talking ‘bro’ in a conversational manner to try to bring them down from the crisis, to say: ‘Come on, bro, let’s get out of the classroom. Let’s get you outside.’ That kind of comment," he told reporters.
After video was analyzed from the beginning of the shooting to when a suspect was taken into custody, Bouchard said, authorities were able to determine that the shooter "never knocked on a door."
The suspect, who is 15, was arrested at the school and has been charged as an adult with four counts of first-degree murder, one count of terrorism causing death, seven counts of assault with intent to murder and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Four students were killed and seven other people, including a teacher, were injured.