OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) – A 15-year-old boy has been charged with murder and terrorism over a shooting that killed four classmates and injured others at a Michigan high school, authorities said on Wednesday, revealing additional details , including a meeting between troubled officials and his parents just hours before the bloodshed.
No motive was offered by authorities in Oakland County, a day after the violence at Oxford High School, about 31 miles north of Detroit. But prosecutor Karen McDonald said the shooting was premeditated, based on a “mountain of digital evidence” against Ethan Crumbley.
“It wasn’t just an impulsive act,” McDonald said.
Indeed, Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Willis told a judge that Crumbley recorded a video the day before the violence in which he spoke of the murder of students.
Crumbley has been charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder and terrorism causing death. During his arraignment, he replied, “Yes, I know that”, when asked if he understood the charges. Defense lawyer Scott Kozak has pleaded not guilty.
“He deliberately brought the handgun that day with the intention of killing as many students as he could,” Assistant District Attorney Marc Keast said in successfully pleading for no bail for Crumbley and transfer to prison from an institution for minors.
Earlier, Sheriff Mike Bouchard told reporters that Crumbley’s parents were called to school Tuesday “for worrying behavior in class.” The teenager remained in school and the shooting took place a few hours later.
Bouchard did not disclose what worried school officials. He said investigators believed the gun was already in school.
“There is nothing he could have faced that would justify senseless and absolutely brutal violence against other children,” the sheriff said, noting that Crumbley had 18 more cartridges when he was arrested.
In court, Keast said Crumbley entered a bathroom with a backpack and came out with a semi-automatic handgun, shooting students while moving down the hall. The four students who were killed were Tate Myre, 16, Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17.
MPs rushed to school around lunchtime on Tuesday and captured Crumbley minutes after the shooting. His father bought the Sig Sauer 9mm gun last week, according to the sheriff.
It is the deadliest school shooting since the 2018 Santa Fe, Texas high school massacre, according to the Associated Press / USA TODAY / Northeastern University Mass Killings database. The United States has recorded 31 mass murders this year, including 28 with guns.
McDonald said charges were being considered against Crumbley’s parents.
“Owning a gun is about securing it properly, 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 must do better,” said the prosecutor without proposing specific changes. “How many times does this have to happen?” How many times? “
She also said the terrorism charge matched.
“What about all the kids running around, screaming, hiding under desks? … They are also victims, as are their families and the community too, ”said McDonald.
A video posted to social media showed students rushing out of the windows of the first-floor classroom rather than opening a door for someone pretending to be a police officer. Bouchard said he was probably a detective.
After the attack, the authorities became aware of social media posts reporting threats of shooting in the school of 1,700 students. The sheriff stressed how crucial it is for such advice to be sent to authorities, while also warning against spreading rumors on social media before a full investigation.
A worried parent, Robin Redding, said her son, Treshan Bryant, a grade 12 student, stayed at home on Tuesday after hearing threats of a possible shooting.
“It couldn’t be just random,” she said.
After the 2016 presidential election, Crumbley’s mother wrote an open letter to Donald Trump in the form of a blog post. It suggested school problems, financial difficulties, resentment – but also hope for the future.
Jennifer Crumbley said she was skipping car insurance payments to hire a guardian to help her son, who was 10 at the time. She blamed the “core curriculum” used by teachers.
“My son fights every day and my teachers tell me they hate to teach it but have to,” Jennifer Crumbley wrote.
She also celebrated her right to own a gun, referring to her job as a real estate agent.
“As a wife and real estate agent, thank you for granting my right to bear arms. Allowing me to be protected if I show a house to someone with bad intentions, ”she wrote. “Thank you for respecting this amendment. “
Associated Press reporters Mike Householder in Pontiac, Michigan, Bernard Condon in New York, and Kathleen Foody in Chicago contributed to this report. PA researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York also contributed.