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There are Wounds Even Time Cannot Heal | April Zuo

Lockdown drills exist for a reason. They are supposed to train us to stay calm during an on-campus emergency, and to protect ourselves and our peers from the dangers that are so prominent in the world today. Dangers like the school shootings that are steadily climbing in number, because the world simply does not discriminate. But what happens when the lockdowns are no longer to guard against a deranged stranger, peering in through the window, but a classmate, saying he has to use the restroom, reemerging with a gun.


November 30, 2021, a Tuesday. This Tuesday. Oxford High School, around 45 miles north of Detroit, Michigan. More than one hundred 911 calls were placed about a shooter that left 4 students dead and 7 others injured. About Ethan Crumbley, a 15 year old.


The school went into lockdown, students rushing to lock the doors, cover the windows, and barricade entrances with chairs and tables, after the first of 15-20 gunshots rang out from the suspect’s 9mm Sig Sauer SP2022 semi automatic pistol, allegedly bought by his father the preceding Friday. Apparently, he had brought the weapon to school stowed in his backpack.


The police arrived on the scene shortly after the calls came through, and when they found the suspect, he was walking down the hall with a loaded firearm with seven rounds in it. However, reports say he gave little resistance. Instead, Crumbley willingly gave up the handgun and went quietly when put under arrest. In the meantime, members of several police forces and SWAT teams had evacuated the other students, still in their classrooms — some reported hiding under tables — to nearby grocery stores to reunite with their parents.


So far, under instruction of his parents, the boy has been held in custody, but has given no answer or hint to his thought processes. Due to such silence, no motivations have been unearthed yet, and Crumbley is currently being held at a juvenile detention center. In court, he has been charged as an adult with one count of terrorism causing death, four of first-degree murder, seven of assault with intent to murder, and 12 of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Oakland County Prosecutor Kate D. McDonald is also considering charges against the boy’s parents for ownership of a firearm, and negligence of their legal responsibility to keep it secure and safe.


Three students had died during the attack. Two girls, Madisyn Baldwin (17) and Hana St. Juliana (14), died at the scene, while Tate Myre (16) passed away in a deputy’s car, as they could not reach medical assistance fast enough. A fourth, Justin Shilling (17), died in the hospital on Wednesday morning. Six others were stabilized at the hospital, and a teacher whose shoulder was grazed in the attack had been discharged.


In their honor, a vigil was held at the Lake Point Community Church on Tuesday evening. In addition, GoFundMe pages and campaigns have been launched to help Baldwin and Shilling’s families, while tributes from respective sports teams were dedicated to Juliana and Myre. As a freshman, the new season would have been Juliana’s debut with the women’s basketball team, and Myre had been a star player of the school’s football team since freshman year. So far, a petition to rename the high school gym after its most promising young footballer has gained 32,000 signatures.


This attack was the deadliest one since Texas' Santa Fe High School Shooting in 2018 left eight students and two teachers dead, and the occurrences are still increasing in number, rebounding with 138 instances of gunfire on school grounds in 2021, following a dip in 2020. And, like the Oakland County Sheriff said, these wounds “will never go away.”


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