LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — It’s been exactly one year since four students were killed and seven others were injured at Oxford High School, and officials are paying their respects to the victims and families.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer described those killed as “four beautiful souls,” and said the shooting was an event that changed the community forever.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. (Nov. 17, 2022)

One year later, we honor the memories of Hana, Tate, Madisyn, and Justin and reaffirm our commitment to holding the Oxford community close. Words will never be enough to meet the scale of the loss that this town has been through. But all of Michigan sends its love, its prayers, and its commitment to working together to keep all our families and communities safe.”

Gov. Whitmer

The governor also ordered that U.S. and Michigan flags be lowered to half-staff across the Great Lakes State.

(Courtesy Michigan Executive Office of the Governor)

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist described his family’s shock and heartbreak after the shooting.

“As we mark one year since that terrible day, let us reaffirm our commitment to healing and supporting the Oxford Community. On behalf of the state of Michigan, Governor Whitmer and I send our love to the families of Hana, Tate, Madisyn, and Justin. We must honor their memory by doing everything that we can to keep all Michiganders safe from harm and supported in every community.”

State Rep. Elissa Slotkin’s statement touched on grief and the many forms that it takes.

One year ago today, the heart of Oxford, Michigan was ripped open when a gunman opened fire at Oxford High School, injuring eight and ending the lives of four of his classmates in a senseless act of violence. Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Myre, Justin Shilling, Hana St. Juliana. Their names are engraved in our memories. Although a year has passed, for the families of Oxford, their journey to healing remains a long one. 

It’s been said that grief has a starting point but no end. Having spent many hours in this community, I know that grief comes in different forms. It looks like traumatized students, too afraid to come to school in person. It looks like funerals packed with teenagers. It looks like parents, confused and scared about how to parent. And it looks like teachers, administrators, and elected leaders trying to know how to lead.

But grief can also take the form of kindness and generosity, and we’ve certainly seen that in Oxford over the last year, as families across the country have lifted this community up again and again. Sometimes grief can look like advocacy and action, which we’ve seen when the students at Oxford staged a walk out to demand better gun safety laws, or through the safe gun storage legislation State Senator Rosemary Bayer has led back in Michigan as a companion bill to my own.

One year later, I’m as grateful as ever to the first responders who leapt into action from across Michigan to save lives that day; to the small businesses who have donated and raised money for families of the victims; and to the students who bravely spoke up in the aftermath of this tragedy. Today, as we honor the four young Michiganders who were taken from us far too soon, I ask Americans across the country to join me in lifting up Oxford as the community continues to grapple with the grief and pain of this immense loss.”

Rep. Elissa Slotkin