A security officer employed at Oxford High School allegedly thought the shooting on November 30, 2021, was just a routine drill and that a bleeding student was just wearing “really good make-up.”
The information regarding retired law enforcement officer Kimberly Potts, who worked for Oxford Community Schools as an armed security guard, was contained in a lawsuit filed by family members of the victims, Buzzfeed News reported. The families are trying to add Potts as a defendant in their lawsuit against the school, alleging the school did not do enough to protect students from the teenager charged with murder and terrorism for allegedly shooting and killing four students and injuring seven more. The lawsuit alleges the school and the suspect’s parents knew or should have known that the suspect posed a violent threat to other students.
On August 3, the families filed an amendment to their original lawsuit, saying their attorney, Ven Johnson, had recently reviewed a video of the school shooting, which showed Potts “’casually’ walking around in the hallway during the active shooting.” The video, which has not been released to the public, allegedly showed Potts seeing student Tate Myre bleeding to death on the floor. She allegedly told investigators that she thought the student had “really good make-up” on and that she had assumed the shooting was an “ALICE” drill, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate.
“The video shows Ms. Potts opening the bathroom door but not entering the bathroom where Justin Shilling, Keegan Gregory, and [the suspect] were present,” the amended complaint alleges. “Ms. Potts clearly had an opportunity to intervene and prevent Justin’s death. Ms. Potts informed the investigators that she did not see anything or hear anything which is why she decided not to enter the bathroom.”
The suspect shot Shilling shortly after.
The parents allege that Potts could have saved Shilling’s life if she intervened, since after the suspect exited the bathroom and saw police coming toward him, he put his gun down and surrendered.
“I kind of feel like this is kind of like a poorly written movie or some kind of candid TV show. And I’m looking for cameras, but I don’t find them,” Craig Shilling, Justin Shilling’s father, told reporters on Wednesday, according to Buzzfeed. “It’s difficult to know that he could still be here if somebody did their job.”
In a statement to The Daily Wire, Oxford High School defended its response to the shooting.
“Our hearts continue to be with the students, staff, families and community members whose lives were forever changed by the tragedy on November 30, 2021. On that day, students and staff acted swiftly in accordance with their prior training and several staff members exhibited heroic courage. Review by a security expert confirmed our staff response reduced additional harm and loss of life,” the statement said. “We are confident the investigation and third-party review of the events of that day will bring all of the facts to light. Safety continues to be our top priority at Oxford Community Schools. We will not be deterred and will continue our commitment of providing a high-quality education for our students in a safe educational environment as we continue to honor Justin, Madisyn, Hana, and Tate.”
The suspected shooter faces 24 charges, including murder and terrorism. His parents, who allowed their son to own and operate a firearm, have been charged with involuntary manslaughter.