OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — As classes resume at Oxford High School this week, the aunt of one of the kids shot on Nov. 30, 2021 is hoping students remember they have classmates that are there for them.
Barb Crumback is the aunt of Aiden Watson.
Crumback told WXYZ that the 15-year-old was thinking about his last day of driver’s training and his first day in the water on the high school swim team on Nov. 30, 2021. Then everything changed.
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office says a classmate brought a gun to school in a backpack then attacked. Four students died. Aiden is one of seven people shot who survived.
Aiden, however, is not just a “victim.”
“When Aiden was shot, he ran back into his classroom. The teacher in his room was gone, so Aiden alerted his class that this was really happening,” Crumback said.
The classmates then were able to take action to protect themselves. Crumback says the mother of one classmate reached out to thank Aiden because she said he was her hero.
Aiden also had heroes there for him.
Classmates helped him get out of the school as he bled from a gunshot wound.
“They flagged down a car driven by John Parraghi, who took him to his business JP Piano Moving. Aiden called his mom and John called 911. The ambulance came for Aiden but had to leave him because there was a greater need at the high school. Aiden's mom then drove him to the hospital,” Crumback said. “Later, the family was told that the ambulance that left Aiden was able to get to Phoebe and save her.”
The message is that even when there are acts of terror, there are also acts of heroism. So many are seeing pain and wanting to show kindness.
“That day was devastating and the road to recovery is still being traveled. The community has been amazing to our family. Oxford Strong Community and Matt Pfeiffer have been wonderful and so supportive. When the family had to get work done on their house and the noise was too much for Aiden, they along with The Royal Park Hotel stepped up huge, putting the family up in the hotel away from the noise. From meal trains, to gifts, to words of love, support and prayers, the community is how this family is getting through this,” Crumback said.
Aiden uses a desk that was generously donated to him, so he can Zoom into his classes while continuing to recover.
Crumback set up a fundraiser for Aiden on GoFundMe.
“Aiden is not back in school yet. He isn't quite ready, but we are working on it. It took 47 days for his wounds to start healing, scab over and he still has break through bleeding. Emotionally, he is getting stronger day by day,” Crumback said.