CLARKSTON, Mich. (WXYZ) — More than 500 people filled the auditorium at Bridgewood Church in Clarkston Wednesday evening to remember and start the healing process after the shooting at Oxford High School.
Four white candles on the stage honored the lives of the four Oxford High School students that are no longer here — Tate Myre, 16, Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17.
Seven more candles stood for those recovering at home and currently fighting for their lives.
The vigil was a way for the community to come together, whether it’s through prayer or just being able to cry into a friend’s shoulder.
Pastor Curt Demoff says healing looks different for everyone, but he wanted the church to be a place where people and families could find comfort.
“We want them to know it’s ok to feel what they are feeling — that and to process that as a healing being,” Demoff said.
Phil Dekipulca’s two children attend Oxford high. He’s still processing Tuesday’s events.
“To know it could’ve been them, it’s been definitely a tough time,” he said.
Both of his children made it out of the school alive, but their friends didn’t.
“Tate, was a good friend of my daughter Savannah for a lot of years,” Delipulca said.
For parents who are trying to help their children navigate the pain, or students who don’t know who or where to turn to, Demoff says they have grief counselors available.
“The next steps in these next few days will be very critical for them to not be paralyzed with fear, anxiety or stress,” Demoff said.
As Oxford and neighboring communities try to pick up the pieces in the coming days, pastors at Bridgewood Church want to leave a message of encouragement from Oxford High School’s very own.
“We didn’t quit: We grinded. We worked every day. This is where we live. Everything about us is tough,” Tate Myre said in a video clip after a football game.