OXFORD, Mich. (WXYZ) — For 4 minutes thousands of people stood in silence with a bell ringing in the background to remember the four students who are no longer here: Tate Myre, Hana St. Juliana, Madisyn Baldwin, and Justin Shilling.
Several speakers including Sheriff Mike Bouchard took the stage, assuring the crowd that his office will protect the town of Oxford.
“You will not terrorize this community,” said Sheriff Bouchard.
The governor also took a moment to grieve with the community. She says tonight, she is here as a mother.
“In a moment like this, we have to come together. We have to hold our friends and our family and our faith close,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Congressman Andy Levin says tonight he is also in attendance as a father.
“I just want to be here to honor this community and tell them that we really care about them,” said Rep. Andy Levin.
While other parents came to support their kids who had to experience Tuesday’s tragic shooting.
“My son goes to school at Oxford and his good friend Justin has passed away,” said Bruce Mechen.
There was a moment of chaos on Washington Street.
“All of a sudden you heard a rumble because people were stampeding,” said Kathleen Vanpoppelen.
She and her husband came from Rochester to pay their respects.
“The kids got all knocked down. Baby carriage was knocked over backwards. I hope the baby didn’t get hurt. It was awful,” Vanpoppelen adds.
We are told by several witnesses that someone in the crowd fainted.
People nearby started yelling for help and that’s when the crowd panicked and started running.
It took about 15 minutes to calm the crowd down, a crowd filled with students and teachers who just experienced trauma 4 days ago.
“There are so many parents hysterically crying now. Because it’s like, again,” said Vanpoppelen.
Even though some people were on edge, laughs were also heard shortly after a local pastor took the state with a few jokes; because even through the pain the community plans to stay #OxfordStrong.