A crowd of hundreds gathered outside a Michigan hospital on Friday to support Justin Shilling, one of the victims of Oxford High School Mass Shooting earlier this week, when his body was transferred for surgery organ donation.
The 17-year-old was pronounced dead on Wednesday, a day after the fatal shooting. Four students died and seven others were injured after their classmates allegedly opened fire indiscriminately in the halls of high school.
Justin’s family has decided to donate his organs to the Florida-based NGO Gift of Life. His body is kept as a life support in the McLaren Oakland Hospital until the organs can be harvested.
While his parents said goodbye to their son and his body was taken for surgery, members of the community gathered outside with signs signposting to walk in honor – a common practice when the family patients choose to donate organs.
The crowd included students from Oxford High School, their friends, paramedics and emergency workers. Many of them cried and clapped for Shilling as they made a fleeting appearance on an elevated walkway. Some children hold signs that say “Oxford Strong, RIP Justin”.
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Paramedics and firefighters also joined the crowd. Downtown Pontiac is almost in a state of shutdown as essential workers join in to support families.
In a video posted by journalist Allie Gross, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard is seen addressing the crowd.
“Obviously it means a lot to them. For everyone. Thank you so much for being here,” he said on behalf of his family, adding that they are obviously very emotional right now. “Let’s take care of each other, talk to each other, support each other. This must not be allowed to happen and it must not be allowed to happen. ”
The teenager’s family also released a statement on Friday. “Justin’s passing leaves such a huge hole in our family that we cannot make sense of life without him,” the statement read. “Our hearts are broken but our hearts go out to other families who are suffering a similar loss at this very moment and this is beyond imagination, nothing any family has to endure.”
Meanwhile, community members gathered in Oxford city center on Friday night to hold a vigil for the students killed in the shooting. Bells were rung throughout the city for four minutes – one minute per student. There was a brief commotion after one passed out, resulting in people jostling each other to get out of the way. But no one was hurt, according to Fox 2 Detroit.
The suspected shooter was identified Wednesday as a 15-year-old sophomore Ethan Crumbley. He is facing a series of charges, including terrorism and first-degree murder. He is currently being held without bond at the Oakland County Jail on 24 counts.
His parents have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the deadly massacre. A hunt was given to them, even if they Lawyers insist they are not missing and intends to respond to the manslaughter charges.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/crime/michigan-shooting-justin-shilling-hospital-b1969703.html Crowds gather outside hospital of Michigan high school shooting victims