An outside party will investigate the events that led to the deadliest school shooting in three years, as questions continue to swirl in the devastated community of Oxford, Michigan.
Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne said he called for a third-party investigation because parents raised questions about the “school’s version of events” regarding Tuesday’s shooting , which left four dead and six other students and a teacher injured.
“It is extremely important to victims, our staff and our entire community that full and transparent accounting is done,” Throne said in a statement on Saturday.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said on Sunday she had offered her department’s services to conduct an independent investigation. “We contacted the attorney for the Oxford Community School District and offered the services of the Michigan Department of the Attorney General to conduct a full and comprehensive review of the 11/30/21 shooting and the events leading up to it. “, Nessel tweeted,
Concerns about the warning signs leading up to the tragedy have intensified in recent days.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald on Friday issued a series of red flags about the student charged in the shooting, including a cell phone search for gun ammunition observed by a teacher the day before the incident and a note found on the suspect’s desk hours before the shooting that showed a drawing of a bullet with the words “blood everywhere” near a person who appeared to have been shot.
Ethan Crumbley, 15 – who is now accused as an adult of murder, terrorism and other crimes – was taken to the guidance counselor’s office where he claimed the drawing was part of a video game he was designing, Throne said. Crumbley did his homework under the watchful eyes of the advisers, he said, until his parents arrived.
“At no point did the counselors think that the student might harm others because of their demeanor, responses and demeanor, which appeared calm,” Throne said.
“While both of her parents were in attendance, the counselors asked specific probing questions regarding the potential for self-harm or harm to others,” Throne said, adding that counseling was recommended to her and her parents had been informed. that they had 48 hours to request it. . “When the parents were asked to bring their son home for the day, they categorically refused and left without their son, apparently to return to work. “
The 3 in custody:James and Jennifer Crumbley join their son in custody after nighttime capture in Detroit
Crumbley returned to class with his backpack and authorities were not notified. The shooting broke out a few hours later.
“The school should have been responsible for passing this on to the sheriff’s office. It looks like it could have been avoided, ”said Robert Jordan, founder and director of St. Louis-based Protecting Our Students, on Friday. “People have died because of these mistakes. “
Prosecutors charged his parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, with four counts each of manslaughter on Friday.
The 9mm semi-automatic pistol used in the shooting was purchased at a local gun store on Black Friday by James Crumbley as a Christmas present for his son, authorities said.
Parents arrested after a manhunt; all 3 in the same prison
The parents were arrested on Saturday just hours after a dramatic manhunt by local, state and federal law enforcement. Officials said the couple withdrew $ 4,000 from an ATM in Rochester Hills and ended up in Detroit, where police found them in an art studio inside a commercial building in the east of the city.
James and Jennifer Crumbley – 45 and 43, respectively – appeared in court via video later in the morning. Jennifer Crumbley collapsed when asked if she understood the charges against her and James Crumbley shook his head several times as McDonald spoke.
“These two individuals could have arrested him and they had every reason to know that he was dangerous and they gave him a weapon and they did not secure it and they allowed him to access it freely,” he said. McDonald said at Saturday’s hearing.
The couple’s son is accused of killing four students – Hana St. Juliana, 14; Tate Myre, 16; Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17 – and injuring seven others.
The couple’s attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman accused prosecutors of choosing the facts in the case and said more was happening than the court thought.
Parents link to 1M:Bond set at $ 1 million combined for parents of Michigan school shooting suspect after overnight arrest
Both parents pleaded not guilty.
Judge Julie Nicholson set the bond for each at $ 500,000 in cash, significantly more than the $ 50,000 to $ 100,000 requested by the couple’s lawyers, but the amount requested by prosecutors. Manslaughter carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.
The three Crumbleys are in the same prison, but they are not allowed to come into contact with each other. “No conversation. No communication,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “The three of them are isolated.”
A former neighbor remembers previous years
A former neighbor told Free Press she was concerned about their parenting long before Tuesday’s tragedy.
Jennifer and James Crumbley often left their young son at home alone while drinking at bars in downtown Lake Orion in 2014 and 2015, former neighbor Kayla LeMieux said. The boy would then be between 8 and 9 years old.
The couple, whose records show they married in 2005, lived near downtown Lake Orion before moving to Oxford.
It was so worrying for LeMieux, 28, that she said she filed an anonymous complaint over the phone with the state’s child protection services.
“Intent to kill”: Timeline of the fatal Oxford High School shooting
“When they were gone he would come knocking on our door,” LeMieux said of the boy. “They didn’t leave him with a phone. The boy would ask LeMieux to call his parents, she said.
LeMieux said she never knew if any action was taken after the complaint to child protection services. State officials said on Saturday they could not comment.
“CPS complaints are confidential by law,” wrote Bob Wheaton, spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in an email.
Contribution: The Associated Press