Sheriff Says Oxford High Shooting Was Premeditated, Parents May Face Charges
Authorities in Oakland County, Michigan, charged a 15-year-old boy with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder, and terrorism, after he opened fire at his high school. Officials revealed additional details on Wednesday, including additional casualties and a meeting between school administrators and the suspect’s parents just a few hours before the violence.
Prosecutor Karen McDonald said the shooting was premeditated “based on a mountain of digital evidence” against Ethan Crumbley.
“This was not just an impulsive act,” McDonald said.
Crumbley was charged as an adult, and defense attorney Scott Kozak entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Assistant prosecutor Marc Keast successfully argued for no bail for Crumbley, who was transferred to jail from a juvenile detention facility.
“He deliberately brought the handgun that day with the intent to murder as many students as he could,” Keast said.
Keast said Crumbley entered a bathroom with a backpack and came out with a semi-automatic handgun, firing at students while moving down the hallway. The four victims were 16-year-old Tate Myre, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin, and 17-year-old Justin Shilling.
The shooter’s parents may also face charges
Deputies rushed to the school around lunchtime Tuesday and captured Crumbley within minutes of the shooting. Keast said Crumbley’s father purchased the firearm last week.
McDonald said they’re considering bringing charges against Crumbley’s parents.
“Owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate,” she said.
The shooting should be a wake-up call for new gun laws in a country that has become “desensitized to school shootings,” McDonald told reporters.
“We have to do better,” McDonald said. “How many times does this have to happen? How many times?”
She also said the terrorism charge is warranted.
“What about all the children who ran, screaming, hiding under desks? … Those are victims, too, and so are their families and so is the community,” McDonald said.
Ample warning signs
Authorities later learned of social media posts about threats of a shooting at Oxford. The sheriff stressed how crucial it is for such tips to be sent to authorities.
Lt. Tim Willis told a judge that Crumbley recorded a video the night before the shootings in which he discussed killing students.
A concerned parent, Robin Redding, said her son, 12th-grader Treshan Bryant, stayed home Tuesday after hearing threats of a possible shooting.
“This couldn’t be just random,” she said.
Sheriff Mike Bouchard told reporters that Crumbley’s parents were called to the school Tuesday “for behavior in the classroom that was concerning.” The teen remained in school, and the shooting occurred a few hours later.
Bouchard didn’t disclose what had worried school officials. He said investigators believe the gun was already in school.
“There is nothing that he could have faced that would warrant senseless, absolutely brutal violence on other kids,” Bouchard said.