Michigan State student survives 2nd school shooting in 15 months, father says

Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 2:15 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(CNN) - A Michigan father says his daughter survived two school shootings, one at Michigan State University and one at Oxford High School, in just over a year.

After Matt Riddle’s daughter, Emma Riddle, survived the November 30, 2021, mass shooting at Oxford High School, he thought she would never have to go through a similar trauma again.

“There’s no way it could happen to somebody twice,” he said in an interview with CNN.

But Emma Riddle is now a student at Michigan State University, where a Monday night mass shooting left three students dead and five others wounded.

“It’s been unexpected and pretty incredible that we’ve had to go through this again with Emma,” Matt Riddle said. “She’s a fantastic, strong young woman, and she’s doing the best that she can.”

Emma Riddle was in her dorm room with her roommate when they received the shelter-in-place notice around 8:30 p.m., her father says. The two supported each other through the tough situation, as they locked and barricaded their doors then hid under their desks for three hours.

When the on campus shooting was confirmed, Emma Riddle called her parents, who were more than an hour’s drive away.

“As a parent, it’s heartbreaking to hear that fear in her voice again. It’s something that I’ll never forget the first time, and now, there’s a second time,” Matt Riddle said.

He says it’s also heartbreaking that his daughter told him it may be easier for her to get through the trauma of the recent shooting because she developed helpful tools after the Oxford High shooting that killed four of her fellow students and wounded six other people, including a teacher.

Matt Riddle says the whole family is helping by being with his daughter as she processes what happened.

“To have it happen again and have her relive some of the things that happened the first time, it’s tragic that we’ve allowed that to continue occurring,” Matt Riddle said.

The father says the fact that his daughter has survived two school shootings in 15 months means “we’re failing students.”

“What it means is that we’re failing people like my daughter. We’re failing students, children because we refuse to acknowledge that there’s a problem, let alone take the steps to resolve that issue,” Matt Riddle said.

Matt Riddle says that even though his daughter loves MSU and her program of study, returning to campus will be difficult for her. Classes are expected to start again on Monday.