After beating the Minnesota Vikings in a thrilling 29-27 win, head coach Dan Campbell said the game ball went to the the community of Oxford, days after a 15-year-old allegedly shot and killed four people – all students – and injured seven last week at a local high school, which is about 45 minutes north of Detroit.
“I just, I want us to not forget these names,” Campbell said. “Madisyn Baldwin, Hana St. Juliana, Justin Shilling, Tate Myre, Phoebe Arthur, Jon Asciutto, Riley Franz, Elijah Mueller, Kylie Ossege, Aiden Watson and Molly Darnell, who’s a teacher.”
“Those names, for all those will never be forgotten and they’re in our hearts and our prayers, and all the families and not to mention all those that were affected by all of this. The classmates, the brothers and sisters, the cousins, the teachers, the everybody. Coaches,” Campbell said.
The Lions were previously winless, losing close games and even earning a tie. For Lions quarterback Jared Goff, who orchestrated the game-winning drive that put the team ahead as time expired, said Sunday was a chance to lift the spirits of the community for a few hours.
“You never hope for a tragedy like this, but you hope to be a light for those people and a positive thing that they can have fun watching,” he said.
“I think any time that we can do that, it’s a lot bigger than our sport, it’s a lot bigger than us and I think today was one of those special circumstances that we were able to rise to the occasion and make something special happen,” Goff added.
Ethan Crumbley faces 24 charges in Tuesday’s shooting, including four counts of first-degree murder and one count of terrorism causing death. His parents were captured Saturday following a police manhunt after they were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the school shooting, the U.S. Marshals office said. The they failed to prevent the tragedy and allowed their son to have access to the gun he used in the shooting.