Olivia McMillan described receiving an emotional last text from her friend Justin Shilling on the day a shooter opened fire at Oxford High School in 2021.
McMillan said when her class heard gunshots coming from the hallway, she sent a text to her group chat, which Shilling was a part of.
Shilling texted back that he was in the bathroom with shooter Ethan Crumbley, she said. The last text his friends received from him said, “I love you guys,” she told the court on Friday at Crumbley’s sentencing hearing. McMillan later found out her friend was dead.
She said she was thankful to have Shilling as a friend. He always tried to make others laugh, helped with homework and wished his friends luck on their sporting events.
On the day of the shooting, the class initially thought the loud bangs were just someone slamming lockers or pulling a prank in the hall, McMillan said.
“I don’t know when my brain flipped and knew that I was in danger and began to move desks, tables, chairs, filing cabinets to barricade the door,” she said.
For the days after the shooting, McMillan said she still believed Shilling was going to be OK and thought about all of the high school events they had ahead of them.
“The night after the shooting, I sat in my room alone. There wasn’t a future that didn’t have Justin in it. He was going to get better, and he was going to continue to tease me, he was going to go to prom with us, he was going to graduate and walk across the stage — probably brag about all of the honors and awards he was going to get, we were going to celebrate it,” McMillan said.
She said from the day she met Shilling she knew she wanted to be his friend. As the two got closer, McMillan said he became like family.
“I knew he was going to be in my life for years to come, I just didn’t know it was only going to be as a memory,” McMillan said.