Suspect's Parents Were Called to School Hours Before Shooting

Ethan Crumbley faces murder, terrorism charges
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2021 6:00 PM CST
School Shooting Suspect Charged With Murder, Terrorism
Wreaths with black bows are shown at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

(Newser) – Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old accused of killing four students and injuring four more at a Michigan high school Tuesday, has been charged as an adult with crimes including murder and terrorism—and transferred from a juvenile facility to the Oakland County Jail. At a hearing Wednesday, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said there was a "mountain of digital evidence" that suggested the mass shooting at Oxford High School was "not just an impulsive act." McDonald said "charging this person as an adult is necessary to achieve justice and protect the public," per the Washington Post. Assistant prosecutor Marc Keast told the judge that Crumbley would be kept "out of sight and sound from adults" at the jail. More:

  • He discussed plans in video, journal. Oakland County Sheriff Lt. Tim Willis said videos recovered from Crumbley's phone included "a video made by him the night before the incident wherein he talked about shooting and killing students the next day at Oxford High School," reports the Detroit Free Press. He said a journal found in the teen's backpack also described "his desire to shoot up a school to include murdering students.”

  • Parents were called to school hours earlier. Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said Wednesday that Crumbley's parents were called to the school hours before the shooting "for behavior in the classroom that was concerning," though the teen remained in class, the AP reports. Bouchard did not disclose what school officials had been concerned about. He said there was nothing in Crumbley's file before this week "concerning behavior or discipline."
  • Surveillance video is "horrific." Keast said he had reviewed surveillance video from the school, the New York Times reports. He said the footage showed Crumbley emerging from a bathroom with a gun in his hand, "methodically and deliberately" shooting students as he walked down a hallway. "What’s depicted on that video—honestly, Judge, I don’t have the words to describe how horrific that was,” Keast said.

  • Parents could also face charges. McDonald said prosecutors are reviewing potential charges against Crumbley's parents. "We know that owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate and not allowing access to other individuals, particularly minors," she said, per the Free Press. Police say Crumbley used a 9mm Sig Sauer SP2022 pistol his father bought on Black Friday.
  • Democrats renew calls for gun control. Democratic state lawmakers said they would push to revive stalled gun control measure, the AP reports. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called gun violence a public health crisis. "We have to take action," said state Sen. Rosemary Bayer, whose district includes Oxford Township. Legislation she introduced in June called for up to five years in prison for parents whose children kill or injure people with firearms that hadn't been securely stored.

  • The terrorism charge. Authorities say the terrorism charge was included not because of any political motivation, but because many students will be emotionally scarred by the shooting, the Times reports. "If you weren’t hit by a bullet, it doesn’t mean you weren’t terrorized that day and won’t have nightmares about it the rest of your life," the sheriff said.
  • Fourth victim dies. The sheriff's office said Wednesday morning that 17-year-old Justin Shilling had died of his injuries. Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Madisyn Baldwin, 17, died Tuesday. Shilling's employer, Anita's Kitchen, described the teen "as an exemplary employee, a devoted friend and co-worker, co-captain of his bowling team, and simply a pleasure to be around," per CNN.
(Read more school shooting stories.)

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