Oakland County Sheriff releases letter regarding Oxford school tragedy

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard released a letter on Friday regarding the Oxford school tragedy.

You can read the full letter below:

Now that we have completed the final criminal trial involving the terrible tragedy at Oxford high school, I wanted to reiterate what have said to you all during this process. I am incredibly proud of you all. Everyone in this agency played a role. From our first, first responders those answering the calls and being a voice of calm in a sea of panic while simultaneously providing critical information updates, to our responding deputies. Every one of our deputies that raced at breakneck speed to the high school and entered without delay. We require and train that we don’t wait for additional resources. It is our job to go in with whoever is there, be they alone or as a team and seek out and stop the threat. Based on the totality of our investigation, I am convinced the shooter would have gone until he heard us or was confronted by our team. When taken into custody the shooter still had 18 live rounds of ammunition. 18 more shots. 18.

Our fire department partners that helped triage and transport the injured victims. Next into the building, was our professional crime lab and forensic personnel for a detailed gathering of evidence to support the now successful prosecutions. Our team members that fanned out after I assigned one to each family that had someone physically injured or killed. I wish we had the people to have one for everyone in the school. They had and will always have our support.

Our substation team joined by our special investigation unit, computer crimes unit, and all the deputies and detectives that poured themselves into making sure every piece of information and evidence was uncovered and preserved for trial. All our team that consumed their every moment with looking after the welfare of those affected inside and outside of our agency. Our amazing corrections team that has been professional from day one in keeping the accused suspects and now convicted defendants safe and cared for even though many of those deputies had loved ones that were in that school on that terrible day. Our partnership with the prosecutor, local and federal agencies that worked hand in glove to ensure the victims and the community had accountability from those involved. The victim advocates that supported families throughout this process. This is the worst nightmare that we had prepared and trained for years ahead going back to 2006. I had hoped and prayed this type of event would never visit our community. But, for us that is not a strategy, preparation is our strategy. Our high school tragedy was book ended by the unforgivable police efforts at Parkland before us and Uvalde after us. Even as many on our team struggled tremendously with what they had seen and dealt with on that day, they continue to suit up and show up. We actually had to leave the wake of one of the victims from Oxford high school to go to another active shooter scene and as we searched and cleared each room of that building, I saw many of the same faces there that were at Oxford as well. All the community and mental health professionals that have made the Herculean and clearly necessary efforts to help the people process the unthinkable have made a huge difference. The All for Oxford Resiliency Center and others, I thank you.

To all I say, seeking and obtaining help is not a weakness. For those struggling, you are not alone, and it takes strength to ask for help. All of you and all of those that may not have been mentioned in this letter that have made a difference, you have my deepest appreciation, admiration, and unfailing support. May we, your friends, family, and God continue to hold your hand each day.

RELATED LINK: Oxford High School shooter involved in prison fight

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