A video posted on Snapchat and TikTok shows 50 seconds of intense fear and a surprising sense of composure from students taking cover in a classroom during an active shooter situation on the afternoon of November 30 at Oxford High School in Michigan. The students fled out a window when they suspected that the shooter, posing as a law enforcement officer, was at their door. The shooting left three people dead and eight others injured. A 15-year-old suspect has been taken into custody.
A video shared on Snapchat by a 15-year-old freshman at Oxford High School shows a group of students sheltering in a corner of a classroom while a teacher lifts up a table to block the door. “We’re in lockdown right now,” said the person taking the videos. “All the windows are shut.”
The school was on lockdown for around an hour, during which students barricaded doors, armed themselves with makeshift weapons like scissors and calculators and contacted their families and emergency personnel, one student reported.
Another clip posted by the same student on Snapchat and later shared on TikTok and Twitter shows the moment when students believed the shooter approached the classroom, allegedly pretending to be a law enforcement officer to gain access to the room.
In the 52 second clip, a voice from outside the classroom says “Sheriff’s office, it’s safe to come out.” The students who are sheltering in place look at each other and whisper. The teacher inside the classroom responds, “We’re not willing to take that risk right now.” They refuse to open the door.
The voice outside says, “Well open the door and look at my badge, bro.”
The moment they hear the word “bro”, the students inside – recognizing casual language more likely to be used by a teenager – panic. “He said ‘bro’, red flag,” the person filming the video says. Suddenly, the students turn and rush outside, fleeing through a ground floor window in their classroom.
They run through the snow toward another school building where they are met with a police officer who tells them “Slow down, you’re fine.” The students are comforted and told to drop their backpacks just before the video ends.
Another video posted on Snapchat shows the moments right after this video ends. We can see a law enforcement officer with a gun coming out of a classroom just before the students all run outside away from the school, through the parking lot.
“Get out of here, go, go, go, go,” someone, presumably a police officer, says. Someone else tells the students to drop their bags. Students were taken to a nearby grocery store to be reunited with their families.
Other videos taken from across the street show more police and paramedics arriving at the school, as well as the injured being put into ambulances.
Three students killed, a suspect in custody
Three students lost their lives in the shooting, aged 14, 16 and 17. Seven students and a teacher were also shot and injured.
Police recovered a semiautomatic handgun from the suspect, a 15-year-old student at the school. The gun was purchased by the suspect’s father last week, according to Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard in a press conference.
The suspect was arrested several minutes after police arrived at the scene, within minutes of receiving a slew of emergency calls from the school around 12:51pm. Authorities say that around 15-20 shots were fired.
There was a decrease in large-scale shootings in schools and other public places in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, there have been 28 school shootings resulting in death or injury in the United States during 2021, according to Education Week.