Olivia McMillan described receiving one last emotional text message from her friend Justin Shilling on the day a shooter opened fire at Oxford High School in 2021.
McMillan said when his class heard gunshots coming from the hallway, he sent a text message to their group chat, of which Shilling was a part.
Shilling responded by saying he was in the bathroom with shooter Ethan Crumbley, he said. The last text message his friends received from him said, “I love you guys,” he told the court Friday at Crumbley’s sentencing hearing. McMillan later discovered that his friend was dead.
She said she was grateful to have Shilling as a friend. She always tried to make others laugh, she helped with homework and wished her friends luck at her sporting events.
On the day of the shooting, the class initially thought the loud bangs were simply someone banging on lockers or making a joke in the hallway, McMillan said.
“I don’t know when my brain flipped and I knew I was in danger and I started moving desks, tables, chairs and filing cabinets to block the door,” he said.
In the days after the shooting, McMillan said he still believed Shilling would be okay and thought about all the high school events ahead of them.
“The night after the shooting, I sat alone in my room. There was no future that didn’t have Justin in it. He was going to get better and he was going to keep making fun of me, he was going to go to prom with us, he was going to graduate and walk across the stage, probably bragging about all the honors and awards he was going for. get it, we were going to celebrate,” McMillan said.
She said from the day she met Shilling she knew she wanted to be her friend. As the two grew closer, McMillan said they became like family.
“I knew he would be in my life for many years, but I didn’t know it would just be a memory,” McMillan said.