The suspected shooter, teenager Ethan Crumbley, was apprehended by police following the incident at Oxford High School in Oxford Township, a community of 22,000 people 30 miles north of Detroit, and a Sig Sauer 9mm semi-automatic handgun was seized.
Oakland County Deputy Sheriff Mike McCabe said the suspect offered no resistance during his arrest, which he said took place within five minutes of receiving the first call to 911 , simply putting his hands on his head and surrendering.
According to the deputy sheriff, the motive for the attack has not yet been established, as the teenager has invoked his right to a lawyer and refused to speak to the police, apparently on instructions from his parents.
Mr Crumbley virtually appeared in court on Wednesday to face the charges and plead not guilty. Asked by the judge if he understood the charges, he replied calmly, “Yes, I understand. “
Prosecutors told the judge that CCTV footage from the school showed Mr Crumbley “methodically and deliberately” walking through the hallways and firing his pistol at his classmates.
The judge accepted prosecutors’ request to deny him bail and transfer him from juvenile detention to the county jail, as he could pose a threat to other juvenile prisoners.
The teenager was charged as an adult with one count of terrorism, four counts of first degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to kill, 12 counts of possession of a firearm in connection with the commission of a crime.
Oakland County District Attorney Karen McDonald said the charges stemmed from “unmistakable” evidence the attack was premeditated. “
Mr McCabe said investigators planned to examine his smartphone and social media posts as they looked for clues indicating a possible motive and they had already executed a search warrant at his home, recovering several items , including a cache of weapons, including long guns.
Speaking to CNN on Wednesday, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said, “It is clear that he came out with the intention of killing people. He was shooting people at point blank range, often in the head and chest… These are just absolutely heartless murders.
Mr. Bouchard said investigators were examining writings belonging to the gunman obtained in the middle of the night and containing “some of his thoughts”.
“We cannot get the mobile of the suspect we have in custody, but we think we have a way to get a lot of supporting information on how and why this happened,” he said. -he declares.
Sheriff Bouchard said he was not aware of any involvement with the suspect’s law enforcement, adding that investigators had so far seen nothing to suggest a history of disciplinary problems.
He added that forensic technicians were collecting evidence at the crime scene, while detectives collected video footage from security cameras mounted around the school and interviewed witnesses and people who knew the suspect.
Because the suspect is under 18, he was first transferred to Oakland County Children’s Village, a juvenile detention center where he was placed under “suicide watch”.
The gunman was said to have come out of one of the school toilets around 12:51 p.m. with the pistol, which had been hidden in his backpack and had been purchased by his father four days earlier.
Creepy images subsequently emerging from the incident show him firing between 15 and 20 shots from several magazines as he walks through the halls of the school.
At one point, he is seen knocking on a door and pretending to be a police officer in an attempt to trick people into coming out into the hallway, ordering someone to, “Just open the door, brother. “
Meanwhile, his classmates are seen running for cover and barring the classroom doors with chairs.
Robin Redding, mother of one of the teens at the school, caused a stir in the aftermath of the incident when she told The Associated Press: “This cannot be due to chance. The kids, like they’re just mad at each other in this school.
His remark inspired rumors that the suspect could have made overt threats before his rampage, but this was denied by Sheriff Bouchard, who said: “There was no prior information shared with the sheriff’s office or the school resources officer before the incident. “
Additional reports by agencies