Detroit Lions preparing for Minnesota Vikings with heavy hearts after Oxford shooting

·4 min read

As school districts around metro Detroit closed Thursday due to threats of violence, the terror of the Oxford High School shooting continued to hit close to home for members of the Detroit Lions.

Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said one of his assistants had to leave a meeting Thursday morning because the assistant's 14-year-old daughter was scared to go to school.

Lynn told the assistant, who he declined to identify, to spend as much time as he needed with his daughter "cause that's real."

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Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn is seen during pregame against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Detroit.
Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn is seen during pregame against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Detroit.

"That’s the world we live in, that’s sad," Lynn said. "And God I hope we can do something about that. I’m tired of talking about it, we need to do something. I don’t know what it is, but we’ve got to do something."

Four students were killed and seven people, including one teacher, were injured Tuesday when police say a 15-year-old sophomore went on shooting rampage at Oxford High.

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Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald charged the suspect in the shooting, Ethan Crumbley, with four counts of first-degree murder, one charge of terrorism causing death, seven counts of assault with intent to murder and 12 gun-related charges on Wednesday.

The charges carry a maximum of life in prison.

Lynn said he was so immersed in football preparation for the Lions' game Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings that he did not learn of the shooting until Wednesday evening.

"I got to tell you, that hit me like a ton of of bricks because when I was player in '99 with the Broncos, I was there for the Columbine shooting and to this day we’re still having these school shootings," Lynn said. "It’s just, it’s something that I was hoping that was something we could get past. And are we doing enough? I don’t know. I don’t have any answers, but my condolences go out to anybody that was affected by those school shootings and I just pray that god will give those families comfort somehow, some way."

Oxford High School student Tate Myre, 16, was one of four students killed by a fellow student during a school shooting on Nov. 30, 2021.
Oxford High School student Tate Myre, 16, was one of four students killed by a fellow student during a school shooting on Nov. 30, 2021.

Lynn is one of at least two members of the Lions staff who were in Colorado at the time of the Columbine school shooting 22 years ago.

Lions defensive line coach Todd Wash was in Denver that day as coach of Fort Lewis College, recruiting local high schools.

Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone, head coach Dan Campbell and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn are among others in the organization with ties to Oxford. All three were with the New Orleans Saints when Oxford football coach Zach Line was a player with the team.

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Oxford's star player, Tate Myre, was among those killed.

"You think that school is probably the safest place for your children to be at," Glenn said. "And for something like this to happen, it’s terrible. It’s terrible. That’s been my stance on it. It’s a tough situation. Just for the parents to have kids as part of that, because I am a parent, it’s hard to think about. It’s hard to deal with."

Lynn, whose children were young at the time of Columbine, said he recalls sitting his kids down to talk about the shooting and briefly considering home-schooling them after the attack.

Now-Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn and his son D'Anton when Lynn played for the Denver Broncos
Now-Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn and his son D'Anton when Lynn played for the Denver Broncos

"I don’t think there’s any school that’s safe, to be honest with you," he said. "I think if something like this is going to go down, it’s going to go down. But it’s just, it’s sad when as a parent, when you send your child to school and they may not come home. That’s sad."

The Lions are currently finalizing a number of tributes for the victims at Sunday's game with the NFL.

"I would never grow numb to this," Lynn said. "That’s why I’m sad today. I don’t care how many times it happens, but (Columbine) was the first for me. And that was — we shut down for a week. It was in the offseason, but we shut down in workouts and everything for a whole week, just sent people home to go be with your families. I just remember that and it was all over TV every single day, every hour. I still feel that to this day. I mean, it’s just sad that it’s still going on."

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions planning tribute for Oxford High School shooting victims

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