'We are all shattered': Oxford High School students killed in shooting identified
Oxford — A football player, a volleyball striker, a captain of the bowling team and an aspiring artist.
Those were the four students tragically killed in Tuesday afternoon's mass shooting at Oxford High School and who were identified by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.
Late Tuesday, authorities said Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Tate Myre, 16, were the three students who initially lost their lives following a five-minute rampage at the Oakland County high school. A fourth student died Wednesday morning: Justin Shilling was 17, authorities said.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said their families have been notified and each family has been assigned a deputy to remain as long as they need and "to provide the protection they deserve."
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Myre, a football player and honor roll student, died in a patrol car as a deputy rushed him to a local hospital, Bouchard said in a 10 p.m. Tuesday update on the investigation.
"One of our deputies, due to the severity of wounds, loaded up one of the children in his car and, sadly, that child died in the car," Bouchard said. "One of our employees who was in the 911 center as part of the team taking the emergency calls, had a relative killed. This touches us all personally, deeply and will for a long time.
"We will leave no stone unturned."
Shilling was a senior and co-captain of the school's bowling team and was an employee at Anita's Kitchen in Lake Orion.
The restaurant posted a tribute to Shilling Wednesday afternoon, saying "he was an exemplary employee, a devoted friend and co-worker, co-captain of his bowling team, and simply a pleasure to be around."
"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time," the restaurant said, adding that since opening its Lake Orion doors in December 2019, much of its staff has consisted of Oxford High students. "We often marvel at how blessed we are to have such amazing kids as part of our Lake Orion team. Simply put — we would not be a restaurant without them. Our heart aches for them all today, as they begin to heal from this terrible tragedy."
In online tributes, friends said Baldwin, a senior, was expected to graduate this year. She had already been accepted into several colleges, some with a full scholarship.
"She was an artist who loved to draw, read and write. She was the eldest of three siblings," friends wrote.
Juliana, a freshman, was the youngest victim killed. She was No. 9 on the Oxford volleyball team and had been playing front row in volleyball since middle school. She also played on the school's basketball team and made her high school debut the night before she was killed.
The Oxford women’s basketball program paid tribute to St. Juliana on Twitter, writing, "We will never forget your kind heart, silly personality, and passion for the game. Since 6th grade camp you have stayed dedicated to Oxford Basketball, soaking in the game... This season, we play for you Hana."
When Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced Wednesday more than 20 charges against 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, including murder and terrorism, she noted Juliana was characterized by her father as “one of the happiest and most joyful kids.”
'A classy young man'
Myre, a junior and a tight-end/running back on the football team, played on the varsity since his freshman year. At 6 feet tall, he was honored with a regional football award by the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association in February. He aspired to attend Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University, Wayne State University or Texas A&M University, according to his player profile.
Myre had just returned from a visit to the University of Toledo this past weekend.
"Tate was a great young man with a bright future and beloved by all. You will be missed, Tate," his team posted in a tribute to him Tuesday.
Shortly after midnight, nearly 30,000 people had signed an online petition to rename the school's Wildcat Stadium after Myre. By Wednesday evening, it grew to more than 83,000 signatures.
"Tate is not just a hero to his fellow students at Oxford high school but a legend, his act of bravery should be remembered forever and passed down through generations, he put his life in danger to try and help the thousands of other students at Oxford High School," petition organizer Drake Biggie wrote.
Bouchard said at a Tuesday night press conference he couldn't confirm how Myre engaged his assailant.
Myre frequently shared video highlights of his football games and recently shared a video from an interview with the D Zone, that covers Michigan high school football. Reflecting on an 0-3 start to the season, he said the team worked hard and had to trust and love one another to recover.
"We started off the season rough, but we didn't quit,” he said, wearing No. 42 on his white jersey. “We started building week by week and here we are... I play tight-end, little bit of running back and linebacker and I make most calls on defense so I have a big role."
Former NFL player and Oxford second-year coach Zach Line said “Tate Myre is coming into his own” after the 2020 season opener when Myre used his speed for touchdown receptions of 50 and 25 yards while rushing for two touchdowns in a 34-0 win over L’Anse Creuse North, showing his potential.
Myre worked hard in the off-season to prepare for his junior season, which was capped off by his performance in the district semifinal win over No. 9 Clarkston. He had a 22-yard touchdown catch and then an interception after Clarkston had pulled within 31-28.
“Everything about him from what I’ve heard, and what I saw of him and how he handled himself on the field, he was just a classy young man," Clarkston head football coach Kurt Richardson said. “He was maybe one of the best, if not the best player in our league (OAA Red) because he played so hard. He was all over the field. It’s so sad what happened. I know the whole community is hurting."
'We are all shattered'
Amanda Sierengowski told The Detroit News she was an extended aunt who watched Baldwin grow up. Sierengowski's sister, Tarah Baldwin, is Baldwin's aunt by marriage.
Sierengowski recalled Baldwin winning at every card game she played.
"(Baldwin) actually drew my sister's tattoo, a memory Tarah will cherish forever," Sierengowski said. "Our entire family is shattered. Tarah, my sister, was Madisyn's best friend.
"We are all shattered."
Jennifer Graves Mosqueda, Baldwin's grandmother, posted to Facebook during the incident Tuesday that while other family members made it out of the school safely, the family went on a search on foot for Madisyn.
At the time of the incident, Baldwin was not answering calls from family, and Mosqueda wrote that she was not in her psychology class, where she was expected to be, during the time of the shootings.
Mosqueda, whom Baldwin called GiGi, wrote early Wednesday that "This beautiful, smart, sweet loving girl was tragically taken from us all today leaving a huge hole in all of our hearts and lives.
"This horrific day could never have been imagined or planned for," she wrote while linking to Baldwin's GoFundMe page. "My daughter and son-in-law would never ask for anything during this time, however, I want them to be able to be with each other, their other children and family during this time without worrying about work, bills and arrangements."
Mosqueda could not be reached for comment.
Updates on the wounded
Seven others were injured in the shooting, including six students and a 47-year-old teacher who had a grazed gunshot wound to the shoulder. In a charging document that Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald filed Wednesday against 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, the names of the wounded were listed.
The teacher, who was identified in the charging documents as Molly Darnell, has been discharged from the hospital, Bouchard said. Darnell, who had a grazed gunshot wound to her left shoulder, is listed as an English Language Arts coach on the Oxford High website.
The wounded students are Phoebe Arthur, John Asciutto, Riley Franz, Elijah Mueller, Kylie Ossege and Aiden Watson, according to the Prosecutor's Office. The named students couldn't be matched with the conditions of anonymous victims listed by the Sheriff's Office.
As of late Wednesday afternoon, three remain hospitalized, according to the Sheriff's Office:
- A 17-year-old girl with a gunshot wound to the neck who is in stable condition at McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac.
- A 17-year-old girl with a gunshot wound to her chest who remains in critical condition at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac.
- A 14-year-old girl has improved from critical condition to stable and is off of a ventilator at Hurley Medical Center in Flint after suffering chest and neck gunshot wounds.
Three other students have been released, including a 15-year-old male who suffered a wound to his left leg and a 17-year-old male who was wounded in the hip, according to the Sheriff's Office. A 14-year-old male was discharged Wednesday afternoon from McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, officials said.
The White House, meanwhile, has been in touch with state and local authorities offering assistance, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday, noting that she would check on whether Biden had reached out to the victims' families.
"Of course, our condolences — as you hear the president say yesterday — our heart goes out to this community and these families," Psaki said at a Wednesday's press briefing. "As a parent myself, you watch this news, this coverage, and it really just sticks with you."
Staff Writers Karen Bouffard and David Goricki contributed.