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Woman who sheltered fleeing students during Michigan school shooting says they're 'traumatized for life'

Four teenagers were killed Tuesday. Survivors fled to a house across the street, where Kimberly Katsock-Gibbs welcomed them, she said.
Image: A well wisher leaves a stuffed animal at a memorial on the sign of Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., Dec. 1, 2021.
A well-wisher leaves a stuffed animal Wednesday at a memorial on the sign at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich. Paul Sancya / AP

Students at Oxford High School in Michigan fled to a house across the street where Kimberly Katsock-Gibbs harbored dozens of them as a gunman stalked their classrooms Tuesday, she said.

"I came and walked out of the house to come out and see what was going on and I heard 'pop, pop, pop.' I heard the gunshots," Katsock-Gibbs said. "And I just seen all these kids, like three per window ... just trying to get out of these windows. It was horrible.

Kimberly Katsock-Gibbs.Courtesy Kimberly Katsock-Gibbs

"It was, like, surreal. It was — I'm looking at the windows right now, and I still don't know how these kids were on top of each other pouring out of them. There's no room. They're so small," she said in an interview.

As the students started up her driveway, she instructed them to get in the house. Her own son was nearby, causing her to go into "full panic," she said.

The children crowded the house as Katsock-Gibbs, 53, tried to get through to police without success, she said. More started fleeing out of the side of the school, and Katsock-Gibbs' husband blocked traffic so they could run into their home, she said.

"They were terrified. They were in shock. They were crying. They were hugging each other," she said.

A student told her that their teacher had put a new lock on the classroom door on Monday.

Another student told her that he hid in a bathroom stall and that when he heard the gun cock, he jumped onto the toilet seat. He said that when he left the stall, he found bodies on the floor, Katsock-Gibbs said.

"These kids are traumatized for life," she said.

Once a suspect was apprehended, her husband started loading his truck up with students and delivering them to their frantic parents, Katsock-Gibbs said.

Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; and Justin Shilling, 17, were killed. Seven other people, including a teacher, were seriously wounded.

The shooting happened just before 1 p.m. Authorities said more than a hundred 911 calls came in to dispatch.

The shooter fired at least a dozen shots before a suspect was taken into custody.

The handgun believed to have been used was recovered. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said investigators believe the suspect’s father bought the 9 mm Sig Sauer handgun Friday.