Middle Schoolers Take To Zoom For Grief Counseling After Classmate Is Shot, Killed In Oak Park

A 15-year-old is in custody facing manslaughter charges

WWJ News
September 15, 2020 - 3:03 pm
Parcells Middle School

Mike Campbell/WWJ

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(WWJ) A cloud of grief hangs over a middle school in Grosse Pointe Woods, as students mourn a friend and classmate shot and killed in Oak Park.

COVID-19 has changed the way school community supports children in tough times, as the Grosse Pointe district is all remote this fall. Parcells Middle School opened up Zoom rooms for grief counselors to help students try to process what happened to 7th grader, LaDamien Williams.

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Related: 12-Year-Old Oak Park Boy Shot, Killed While Playing With Gun

Oak Park Police said LaDamien, 12, was at his father’s girlfriend’s home, with her son, 15. The two children were playing with a gun, when the teen shot LaDamien; according to police. It happened on Saratoga near 9 Mile and Rosewood, around 12:30 p.m. Monday.

Investigators told WWJ it was an accident. 

Dan Hartley, principal of Parcells Middle School, said it is important to be honest with the students.

“I think you stick with the facts with students, because the information is out there and students are talking about it,” Hartley said. “We’re getting a lot of texts and emails from parents."

He said, don’t be afraid to get personal.

“It’s okay to talk to kids about what you do to cope with stress,” Hartley said. “I like to go for a walk, I like to walk the dog. I like to stay in class and just have that normalcy.”

The teen is in custody after the shooting. He has not been identified. Investigators said he will be charged with manslaughter as a juvenile.