Tate Myre's family speak during Oxford shooter's sentencing; 'My baby boy'

Buck Myre and his wife Sheri learned about their son's death inside a Meijer.

They had searched for their son among seas of people, seeing families reuniting - but no sign of Tate. His dad said he had a bad feeling.

"Sheri and I are both walking around looking for Tater and I had a feeling, something didn't feel right to me," he said. "And so as people started … as kids and parents started slowly fading out of my ear, I grabbed our athletic director, who was at Meijer and said, where's Tate?"

Tate had died earlier. He was one of the four to die during the fateful day at Oxford High School. Buck, who spoke Friday at the mass shooter's sentencing, said one thing stood out to him when he learned of his son - what his wife said. 

"She put her head in her hands and said, ‘my baby boy'," he said. "So we walk out of the room in shock, not really sure if what we heard was real and true."

It's been just over two years since the mass shooting, an event that continues to shake the northern Oakland County community. The Myre family, like those of the other victims, have struggled to find a way through the grief. 

Buck says they still do. 

"It's been quite a journey. I can tell you that," he said.

Trent spoke after his father. He said he sees his brother wherever he looks, with each day bringing a trigger that reminds him of Tate.

"This loss is hard for me to put into words. It has affected my every decision, my every thought, for every single day over the last two years. I can never escape thoughts, the loss, the grief, the what ifs," he said.

For Trent, it's affected his relationships with his family and his close friends. He's reminded of what he won't get to share with Tate. But through the grief, he's prayed for his family that they can find some closure.

Buck said his family cooked dinner the first night after learning about their loss. They walked around like "a bunch of zombies." And in the two years since then, he admits, the shooter had succeeded in his mission, for the families to feel the pain he said he felt. 

"But today is a day where the tides change. Today, we are going to take ours back," Buck said. "We're all cried out. We're all tired out. We need to take this chip off our shoulder. We've been on this island far too long. We are the prisoner, not you. Nobody else can set us free, but us."

For the Myre family, Tate left them a roadmap out of despair. It requires facing one's fears, Buck said. For this tragedy, it's forgiving someone who stole something from them. The family's father said it wouldn't be easy. But they wouldn't be denied a life of normalcy, despite being robbed of what they hold dear.

"And we'll find a way to get there through forgiveness and through putting good into this world," he said.

The family started 42 Strong, which honors Tate in its mission of providing peer-to-peer support. Learn more here