Last Tuesday a 15-year-old sophomore boy emerged from a school restroom at Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan with a handgun and started firing. Five minutes and at least thirty shots later, four students lay dying and seven more suffered gunshot wounds, two of whom are in critical condition fighting for their lives. The shooter surrendered peacefully when police officers stationed at the school arrived at the scene and confronted him.
The dead have been identified as: 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin, 17-year-old Justin Shilling, and 16-year-old Tate Myre.
Out of this senseless tragedy, however, a story has emerged of the heroism of one of the victims, 16-year-old Myre, who died trying to disarm the shooter.
According to multiple witnesses, Myre ran toward the gunman when the gunfire started, and was reportedly hit several times. He later died en route to the hospital. His selfless bravery that put him in the line of fire undoubtedly saved more of his classmates from falling victim to the shooter.
Myre, a six-foot, 195-pound linebacker and co-captain of his school’s football team and a member of the wrestling team, was also a star student, carrying a 3.9 grade point average. He was even being recruited by the University of Toledo and had visited the campus only a few days before his death.
One person who wasn’t surprised by the young man’s heroism was his father, Buck Myre. Even as he was joining other parents on Tuesday at the staging area for survivors in an unsuccessful effort to locate his son, he turned to a family friend and said, “You know who would go take that guy out, right?”
As the Michigan town mourns its dead, a change.org petition asking to rename the Oxford football stadium in honor of Tate Myre has already received over 130,000 signatures in the two days since his death.
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13 ESV). Certainly, Tate Myre exemplified this ideal last Tuesday in the midst of inexplicable horror.
At Focus on the Family, our hearts go out to all the victims of this senseless tragedy and their families.
Photo from Twitter / Tate Myre.