OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. — The family of a 17-year-old who died as a result of the Oxford High School shooting has released a statement, calling their loss “a gaping hole in our family.”
Justin Shilling is one of four students who died from their injuries after a fellow student opened fire Tuesday at Oxford High School in Oakland Township. Justin reportedly died Wednesday morning around 10:45 a.m. at McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac.
On Thursday, his family released a statement, saying in part, “He was a grandson, a brother, a cousin, a classmate, and without hesitation, a friend. The loss of Justin leaves such a gaping hole in our family that we cannot conceive of life without him. Our hearts are broken and yet still go out to the other families suffering this very same loss at this very same moment and which is beyond imagination, nothing any family should have to endure.”
The family went on to say Justin was a scholar, was part of Oxford School District's Baccalaureate program and was a university scholarship awardee. He worked three jobs along with his studies, was a lettered athlete and was a member of the Oxford High School bowling team.
“His potential was boundless in life and yet in death he continues to give of himself as an organ donor,” the statement continues. “We feel the world can’t have too much of Justin.”
Justin was the fourth student to die as a result of a shooting at the high school Tuesday. Police say 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley opened fire at the school, killing four students and injuring seven others, including a teacher.
Along with Justin, the following students have been identified as victims who died in the incident: Tate Myre, a 16-year-old student, Hana St. Juliana, a 14-year-old student and Madisyn Baldwin, a 17-year-old student.
In their statement, the Shilling family also offered their condolences to the families of the other victims.
“As a family we would like to appeal to the public to keep the importance of what has been lost here in the forefront of our minds and the news,” the family wrote. “These are beautiful children’s lives, full of potential and with the expectation of so much more to come.
“In closing, we would just like to send out most sincere condolences to all the families involved in this tragedy and can say assuredly that we DO know your pain. And to the community, thank you all for the out pouring of love and prayers. We can never express the gratitude we have in our hearts.”
On Wednesday, Ethan Crumbley was charged with terrorism and murder, among other charges. He is being charged as an adult.
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