Oxford High shooting victim's family: 'Our hearts are broken'

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

The family of one of the four slain Oxford High School shooting victims thanked the community for the outpouring of support and urged everyone to never forget what was lost in the attack.

Justin Shilling, 17.

"We as a family have to mourn the loss of our son," the family of Justin Shilling said in a statement Friday morning. The statement was issued by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office. The statement also said the family wished not to be contacted by the media.

Shilling, 17, died Wednesday from wounds he received in Tuesday's shooting at the high school.

"Justin Charles, who was so dear to our hearts, was at the same time beloved of so many people in his school and his community," the statement said. "The loss of Justin leaves such a gaping hole in our family that we cannot conceive of life without him.

"Our hearts are broken and yet still go out to the other families suffering this very same loss at this very same moment and which is beyond imagination, nothing any family should have to endure."

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The family said Justin was a good student and hard worker.

"Justin was a scholar, part of Oxford School Districts Baccalaureate program and a university scholarship awardee," it said. "He was a tireless worker with three jobs that he juggled along with his studies. He was a lettered athlete and had bowled on the Oxford High School bowling team. His potential was boundless in life and yet in death, he continues to give of himself as an organ donor. We feel the world can’t have too much of Justin."

Shilling was also a senior, co-captain of the school's bowling team and worked at Anita's Kitchen in Lake Orion.

The family called on everyone to "keep the importance of what has been lost here in the forefront of our minds and the news."

"These are beautiful children’s lives, full of potential and with the expectation of so much more to come," the statement said.

The family also expressed condolences for the other victims' families and thanked everyone for their sympathy and support.

"In closing, we would just like to send our most sincere condolences to all the families involved in this tragedy and can say assuredly that we DO know your pain," the statement said. "And to the community thank you all for the outpouring of love and prayers. We can never express the gratitude we have in our hearts."