OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. — Four students were killed and seven others were injured in a school shooting in Oxford Township, north of Metro Detroit. Oxford High School went on lockdown immediately during the active shooter situation and police had the suspect in custody within about three minutes of their arrival.
Western Michigan University Cooley Law School's Michael McDaniel, a retired Brigadier General who served in the Pentagon as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense, says district officials and first responders followed safety protocol well.
"Law enforcement immediately went in, and you've got to sort of go through and determine whether or not there's just the single individual or there's an accomplice," he says.
While the school doesn't have metal detectors, plexiglass or do bag checks, the district follows the ALICE Training Institute in these situations, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.
McDaniel says having trusted school resource officers and following the "See Something, Say Something" policy goes a long way.
"If you've got a classmate and all of a sudden he's changed, you know, he's become withdrawn, he's become isolated, he's become depressed, there's ideations, you know, there's dreams of fantasies of some sort of violence. If there's an unhealthy interest in guns, if that's all ramped up, you got to say something," he says.
In his experience, Michigan has rarely seen incidents like this.
"We've been very lucky," McDaniel says.
He hopes this situation spurs a debate among parents, school and government leaders about how best to keep everyone safe.
"But the thing that we do know is that if if kids can't get ahold of weapons, then kids can't shoot other kids," McDaniel says. "And so we have to deal outside of the school setting with ways to keep weapons out of the hands of those under the age of 18."
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