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Lockdown Procedures Saved Lives in Michigan School Shooting, Sheriff Says

A 15-year-old student is in custody after a shooting at Oxford High School in Oakland, Michigan, on 30 November. The sophomore is accused of fatally shooting three classmates and injuring at least eight other people with a 9mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 pistol that his father purchased four days earlier, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said in a press conference late Tuesday that the suspect had at least two 15-round magazines, including one with seven rounds remaining in it when he was apprehended. The suspect fired at least 12 rounds, based on shell casings found at the school, Bouchard said. The incident unfolded in the space of five minutes, USA Today reported.

Those killed were Tate Myre, 16; Hana S. Juliana, 14; and Madisyn Baldwin, 17.

Police are still searching for a motive for the attack. The suspect’s name—given he is a minor and has not been formally charged with a crime—has not been released. Bouchard noted that the suspect had no prior run-ins with police and he was not aware of any disciplinary history at school, the Associated Press reported.

“That’s part of our investigation to determine what happened prior to this event, and if some signs were missed how were they missed and why,” Bouchard said.

Rumors were circulating on social media that there had been threats of a shooting at the 1,700-student school, but Bouchard said that police didn’t know about the rumors until after Tuesday’s shooting. He stressed the importance of reporting such tips to the authorities.

The school was placed on lockdown during the attack, and students sheltered in locked classrooms while the campus was searched. They were later evacuated by buses to a nearby grocery store to be picked up by their parents. While the school does not have metal detectors, Bouchard credited the district’s lockdown procedures for saving lives during the attack.

In a Facebook post from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, Bouchard wrote:

“I just left Oxford High School after a detailed walk-through and examination of the scene and evidence. As I reflect on the day, it is one that is filled with overwhelming sadness. My heart aches for families that will never be the same and a quiet sweet community that had its innocence shattered. I have seen far too many bodies and death in my career, but children’s are always the worst. I am super proud of our team as they continue to work through the night, and I know the work they did this day saved lives.

“It is also evident from the scene that the lockdown protocols, training, and equipment Oxford schools had in place saved lives as well. I will close this day with more prayers, as we will be back at it in a couple of hours."