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Ethan Crumbley, suspect in Oxford High School shooting, faces adult charges

Scores of students, teachers, parents, and community members hold a candlelight vigil following a school shooting.

The Oxford High School community attended a vigil Nov. 30 in honor of the victims of Tuesday’s school shooting. Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old sophomore whom police say killed four students and injured seven others, is being charged as an adult.

Matthew Hatcher / Getty Images

The night before Ethan Crumbley was said to have walked out of a bathroom, randomly shooting at students and staff at Oxford High School, he recorded a video of himself in which he described “shooting and killing” his classmates.

The video was shot on the same day school staff had called Crumbley into a meeting because they were worried about “concerning behavior,” according to law enforcement. Just hours before the shooting, he and his parents met with school officials to address behavior problems.

These were among the details that emerged Wednesday in the wake of a shooting that left four students dead and caused serious injuries to seven more people, including a teacher. Crumbley, 15, a sophomore at the school, was arraigned Wednesday as an adult and ordered transferred from a juvenile detention facility to the Oakland County Jail.

The charges against Crumbley include one count of terrorism, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of intent to murder, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald, during a press conference that preceded the arraignment, said Crumbley left “a mountain of digital evidence” showing he had planned the shooting.

A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf during an arraignment Wednesday afternoon. Bond was denied.

McDonald said more charges are likely against Crumbley. She said she is also considering charges against his parents. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said Tuesday that on Friday, Crumbley’s father purchased the gun he used in the shooting.

Lt. Tim Willis of the Oakland County Sheriff’s office testified during the arraignment that Crumbley created two videos on his phone in which he described “shooting and killing” students the night before the shooting. 

 A journal found in Crumbley’s backpack also detailed his desire to “shoot up the school,” Willis said. 

Crumbley met with school officials Monday because school staff were worried about his behavior. A different issue prompted another face-to-face meeting between school officials, Crumbley, and his parents the day of the shooting, Bouchard said. The sheriff declined to discuss further details about the two school meetings in light of the prosecutor’s investigation.

Some news reports suggested Crumbley may have been bullied. But Bouchard said the suspect’s school file did not suggest behavioral issues prior to Monday, bullying, or disciplinary infractions. There also was no indication that specific particular students were targeted in the shooting.

“There is nothing that he could have faced that would warrant senseless, absolutely brutal violence on other kids,” Bouchard said.

During her press conference, McDonald called for gun control legislation.

“To prevent further tragedies like the one we witnessed yesterday and at large, we have got to address responsible gun ownership in this country and in Oakland County,” she said.

“This is unspeakable,” McDonald said. “We send our kids to school, we think they’re going to be safe.”


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