One year after Oxford High shooting, Michigan lawmakers honor those killed

Photo of Angela Mulka
A well wisher kneels to pray at a memorial on the sign of Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021.

A well wisher kneels to pray at a memorial on the sign of Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021.

Photo provided/Paul Sancya/AP
A well wisher kneels to pray at a memorial on the sign of Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021.

A well wisher kneels to pray at a memorial on the sign of Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021.

Photo provided/Paul Sancya/AP
A well-wisher kneels to pray at a memorial on the sign of Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021.

A mass shooting at Oxford High School took the lives of four students and injured six more, plus a teacher, one year ago Wednesday, Nov. 30.

In the aftermath, schools across Michigan were prompted to close due to at least 100 copycat threats of more violence, primarily on social media. The number of threats was "completely off the charts" and strained law enforcement resources, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told the Detroit News in December 2021.

People attending a vigil embrace at LakePoint Community Church in Oxford, Mich., Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. Authorities say a 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at Oxford High School, killing several students and wounding multiple other people, including a teacher. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

People attending a vigil embrace at LakePoint Community Church in Oxford, Mich., Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. Authorities say a 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at Oxford High School, killing several students and wounding multiple other people, including a teacher. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Photo provided/Paul Sancya/AP
FILE â€?” Students hug at a memorial at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., Dec. 1, 2021. School systems nationwide rely on high-level expertise from the U.S. Secret Service and others as they work to stay vigilant for signs of potential student violence, training staff, surveilling social media and urging others to tip them off. However, when it comes to deciding how to respond to a possible threat, it’s the local educators who make the call. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

FILE â€?” Students hug at a memorial at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., Dec. 1, 2021. School systems nationwide rely on high-level expertise from the U.S. Secret Service and others as they work to stay vigilant for signs of potential student violence, training staff, surveilling social media and urging others to tip them off. However, when it comes to deciding how to respond to a possible threat, it’s the local educators who make the call. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Photo provided/Paul Sancya/AP
Oxford High School students mourn their classmates during a vigil after the Oxford High shootings on Nov. 30, 2021.

On the first anniversary of the shooting at Oxford High School, roughly 30 miles north of Detroit, Michigan lawmakers reflect.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered U.S. and Michigan flags to be lowered to half-staff within the State Capitol Complex and on public buildings and grounds across the state Wednesday to honor the victims of the shooting in Oakland County one year ago.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at a news conference in Oxford, Michigan, on Nov. 30, 2021.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at a news conference in Oxford, Michigan, on Nov. 30, 2021.

Photo provided/Paul Sancya/AP

"It’s been one year since we lost four beautiful young souls in Oxford," Whitmer said in a Tuesday press release. "One year since a community was changed forever. One year later, we honor the memories of Hana, Tate, Madisyn and Justin and reaffirm our commitment to holding the Oxford community close. Words will never be enough to meet the scale of the loss that this town has been through. But all of Michigan sends its love, its prayers and its commitment to working together to keep all our families and communities safe."

Flags should be returned to full staff on Thursday, according to the state.
 
"My family, and the entire state of Michigan, was shocked and heartbroken by the tragedy in Oxford last November," Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II said in the release. "As we mark one year since that terrible day, let us reaffirm our commitment to healing and supporting the Oxford Community. On behalf of the state of Michigan, Governor Whitmer and I send our love to the families of Hana, Tate, Madisyn and Justin."

Sen. Rosemary Bayer, a Democrat who represents the district that includes Oxford, acknowledged the shooting anniversary on the Senate floor during Tuesday’s session.

"They were loyal. Radiant. Humorous. Eager," Bayer wrote in a Wednesday Tweet. "Tate Myre, Madisyn Baldwin, Hana St. Juliana and Justin Shilling will be forever missed."

Bayer also wrote: "For 4 Oxford families, it's been 1 year of having 1 less person at the holiday table. 1 year since the last goodbye. At 12:51 pm, please hold a moment of silence for Madisyn, Tate, Hana, Justin, their families & everyone in Oxford whose lives were forever changed. #OxfordStrong"

AG Nessel commented on the responsibility of the school district Tuesday on Twitter.

"Three times the Michigan Department of Attorney General offered to conduct a comprehensive review of the events which transpired before, during and after the Oxford shooting," Nessel wrote. "Three times the Oxford School Board declined. This news is hardly a surprise."

"Our intent was not to cast blame on the school administrators, but merely to discover what had occurred so that we could help understand how to prevent future school shootings and make recommendations which could be applied statewide," she continued in the Tweet. "My department and I will be working with the new legislature to explore changes in the law which would grant authority to the Michigan Department of Attorney General to investigate school districts where evidence suggests students were not properly protected from these tragedies."

The alleged shooter, who was a 15-year-old sophomore at the time, has been charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder and terrorism. He pleaded guilty to all 24 charges in October.

His parents are jailed on charges of involuntary manslaughter, accused of making the gun accessible to their son, and ignoring his need for mental health treatment.

On Tuesday, the Michigan Supreme Court postponed the January trial for his parents. And ordered the state appeals court to reconsider whether there is "sufficient evidence of causation" to send them to trial.