OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The video from inside Oxford High School on a Cold Tuesday Afternoon: Students cowering in the classroom, was in hiding when an armed gunman ripped through the hallway, killing four people and wounding seven others.
Then there was a knock on the door.
“Sheriff’s office. Get out safe,” said a voice from outside the classroom.
Inside, a man replied: “We’re not willing to take that risk right now.”
Outsiders are complaining.
“It’s okay,” said the voice. “Open the door. It’s okay, man.”
When students hear outsiders use the word “bro,” pandemonium flares up. They quickly came to the conclusion that it was the shooter because it would be hard for the sheriff to use the word “guys”.
“He said man,” said one boy, standing up in the middle of the chaos. “Red flags.”
Students rush to a window, open it, and begin running into the outdoor courtyard.
Recorded on a mobile phone and widely shared on social media, the video shows students racing to safety, turning into the school through another door where a police officer The chief said to them, “Go slow. You’re fine.”
On Wednesday, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told reporters that the TikTok video failed to capture the suspect knocking on doors and trying to trick students out of the classroom.
“We’ve been able to determine now that it’s not a suspect. It’s most likely one of our plainclothes detectives, and he may have been talking ‘guys’ in a conversational fashion. to try to knock them out of the crisis,” Bouchard said at a news conference. “The suspect, which we have now confirmed by analyzing all the video from the start until we arrest him, has never knocked on the door.”
The 15-year-old student accused of carrying out the shooting has been charged Fourth with four counts of first-degree murder, 12 counts of possession of a firearm in a felony and one count of terrorism causing death.
The gunman was stalking school halls, trying to get inside locked doors where his classmates were hiding, Bouchard said Wednesday in an interview on CNN.
“The evidence I’ve seen there makes it clear he’s trying to kill someone, and so a ruse like this wouldn’t surprise me, given the way he acted,” Bouchard said.
“We’ve recovered some evidence that we’re starting to research. I’ve seen some actual videos of the shooting itself. And it’s clear that he did it with the intent to kill. I’ve shot people at close range, usually in the head or chest.”
He fired bullets through some of the barricaded doors, Bouchard said.
“We knew he couldn’t get into some of those classes, and I think that saved lives,” he said. “So the only silver lining was our training and their training saved lives.”
However, he said, “tragedy is not ours.” A quarter student, Justin Shilling, 17 years old, lost Wednesday morning. The three other students killed in the shooting were: Tate Myre, a 16-year-old soccer player, who died in the deputy’s car on the way to the hospital; Hana St. Juliana, 14 years old; and Madisyn Baldwin, 17 years old.
Six other students and a teacher were shot and treated at area hospitals. Teacher Bouchard said, “thankfully she was discharged. She had a gunshot wound to her left shoulder, which appeared to be a graze.”
“We were watching videos for hours and obviously we had to interview more than 1,800 people who were students at that school,” he said. “So we had to interview every student or every potential faculty member they’ve seen or something related.
“We want to make sure we get everything 100% done. I want this person to be held accountable and the community needs to see that happen. I mean, this is a very calm community. , sweet, peaceful and quiet. And this has shaken them to the core.”
Contact Kristen Shamus: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @kristenshamus.