Michigan Shooting Deadliest on School Property in the U.S. This Year

The rampage at Oxford High School was the deadliest shooting on school property in 2021, according to Education Week, which tracks such shootings in the U.S.,


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The Michigan shooting was the deadliest on school property in the U.S. this year.

The suspect, who is being held in a juvenile jail, is awaiting charges in the shooting death of three students at a high school in Oxford, Mich.Credit…Seth Herald/Reuters

By Jacey Fortin and Scott Atkinson

Dec. 1, 2021Updated 11:16 a.m. ET

The rampage on Tuesday at Oxford High School, north of Detroit in Oakland County, was the deadliest shooting on school property this year, according to Education Week, which tracks such shootings in the United States and has reported 28 of them in 2021.

“It’s devastating,” said Tim Throne, the Oxford Community Schools superintendent, on Tuesday.

The authorities received the first of more than a hundred 911 calls about the shooting at 12:51 p.m. on Tuesday, Michael McCabe, the Oakland County undersheriff, said. Students rushed for cover and barricaded classroom doors with chairs when they heard the first gunshots, and would later describe frantically hiding and then fleeing from the school after long minutes of terror.

“I was just kind of sitting there shaking,” said Dale Schmalenberg, 16, who said he was in calculus class when his teacher heard a gunshot and locked down the classroom. “I didn’t really know how to respond.”

Officials said the gunman fired 15 to 20 shots with a semiautomatic handgun, killing three students and wounding seven others and a teacher, before being apprehended.

The violence in Michigan comes after a reduction in school shootings earlier in the coronavirus pandemic, when some schools held classes remotely. But mass shootings at schools have been a recurring tragedy in recent years. In 2018, a gunman killed 17 people and injured 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Later that year, a gunman killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School in Texas.

“This is a uniquely American problem that we need to address,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan said.

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