3:03 PM ET, December 8, 2023
Justin Schilling sent one last text to his friends: “I love you guys.”
From CNN’s Elise Hammond
Family of Justin Schilling
Olivia McMillan described receiving an emotional last text from her friend Justin Schilling on the day a gunman opened fire at Oxford High School in 2021.
McMillan said she sent a text message to her group chat, which Schilling was participating in, when her class heard gunshots coming from the hallway.
Schilling texted back that he was in the bathroom with shooter Ethan Crumbley. The last text his friends got from him was, “I love you guys,” she said in court Friday at Crumbley’s sentencing hearing. McMillan later discovered his friend had died.
He said thank you for having Schilling as a friend. He always tried to make others laugh, helped with homework and congratulated his friends at sporting events.
On the day of the shooting, McMillan said, the class at first thought the noise was someone slamming lockers or playing pranks in the hall.
“I don’t know when my brain flipped and I knew I was in danger and I started moving tables, desks, chairs, filing cabinets to block the door,” he said.
For days after the shooting, McMillan said he hoped Schilling would be OK and thought about all the high school events ahead of them.
“The night after the shoot, I was sitting alone in my room. There is no future without Justin. He’s going to get better, he’s going to keep teasing me, he’s going to go to prom with us, he’s going to graduate and walk across the stage — and probably brag about all the honors and awards he’s been getting. get, we’re going to celebrate it,” McMillan said.
From the day she met Schilling she knew she wanted to be his friend. As the two grew closer, McMillan said they became like family.
“I knew he would be in my life for years to come, and I didn’t know it would just be a memory,” McMillan said.
“Friend of animals everywhere. Devoted analyst. Total alcohol scholar. Infuriatingly humble food trailblazer.”