OXFORD, Mich. (FOX 2) - When Justin Shilling was murdered inside of Oxford High School in November 2021, he was killed while protecting another student. His mom, Jill Soave, says that was exactly what she would have expected from her son and that he was a kind soul who wanted to help and protect others.
Soave spoke in court on Friday to address the court in the sentencing of the Oxford shooter. During the sentencing, she discussed who her son was and how he planned for the rest of his life. But she also told the shooter that, if he really needed a friend, he only needed to ask Justin.
"If you were that lonely, that miserable, that lost, and you really needed a friend, Justin would have been your friend. If you had only asked," Soave said.
That was her final statement to the court. But it came after several minutes of her explaining who her son was to the world.
Soave said their family has been ripped apart by what happened.
Oxford High School shooting victim Justin Shilling, 17, died Wednesdy, Dec. 1, one day after being shot by a gunman inside the school.
"Justin's grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, all have suffered an immeasurable loss, as Justin was and is so very loved and cherished by his entire family. Justin had such an impact on his many beloved friends, teammates, coworkers of all ages, and people in the community. My heart breaks for their pain and trauma as well," she said.
Justin, she said, had big plans for after he finished high school and was going to attend Oakland University. Instead, on Nov. 30, 2021, his life was ripped away.
"Justin was happy, humble, hardworking, grateful, stylish, funny, smart, loving, thoughtful and empathic. He never complained and always made time to lift others up, bringing out the best in everyone who knew and loved him. He didn't deserve to die this way," Soave said.
She said Justin was going to major in business and get his real estate license, but that will never happen.
"He was so motivated and focused; his future was so bright and full of possibilities. Justin would have been an amazing father. Children loved him and gravitated toward his big heart. He was such a gentleman and so very loving towards me and all women, never letting me pump my own gas or hold my own door. He will always be my little sweetheart. Justin spent his final moments protecting Keegan and saved six more lives with his gift of organ donation. May his light and legacy live on forever," Soave said.
Then she addressed the shooter, who she refused to name.
"You may have ended Justin's life on this plane, but you did not in any way affect his soul. You don't have the power to do that. You may have caused the pain and terror as you intended to do, but you did not destroy us. There is more love and light in this world because of the legacies of Justin ,Tate, Hana, and Madisyn. I don't focus on hating you, but I also don't feel a drop of pity towards you. I don't feel anything towards you. You're nothing to me. You don't even exist.
"While you rot in jail, we will push on, and we will do so many good things in the world, spreading so much love and kindness in honor of our angels. You are facing the consequences of your actions here in this court of law. But you also face your demons in the afterlife, and there's no escaping that. I pray that you serve as a deterrent, as an example for other lost souls who seek fame by taking innocent lives. You didn't win. You're not famous. It didn't turn out as you had hoped. The media will forget about you. They will move on. I know you're miserable, and it's only going to get worse as the reality does set in, but we are only going to get better, more healed, more loved and more loving towards others, more peaceful and more full of grace."