OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Michigan – The 15-year-old student accused of shooting his classmates at a suburban high school, killing four and injuring seven on Tuesday, faced a slew of charges on Wednesday as the authorities were publishing more details about the events leading up to the attack.
Prosecutor Karen McDonald identified the teenager as Oxford High School’s second student Ethan Crumbley, noting that he would be tried as an adult on charges of first degree murder and terrorism. The suspect pleaded not guilty to all counts. District court judge Nancy Carniak refused the bond.
Authorities said they found a video made the day before the attack in which the suspect threatened to shoot and kill students and a newspaper he wrote about the murder of classmates. Sheriff Michael Bouchard noted the suspect’s “worrying behavior” in high school, including an incident that forced his parents to attend school less than three hours before the attack.
Sheriff’s deputies said the suspect fired about 30 bullets at the school in Oxford Township, a suburb about 35 miles north of Detroit.
Authorities said the teenager used a handgun his father bought on Black Friday, days before the attack. McDonald said his office was considering criminal charges against the suspect’s parents. She said responsible gun ownership is crucial to helping stop tragedies, and “those who fail to do so should be – and will be – held accountable.”
McDonald went through the list of victims, including a fourth who died on Wednesday: Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; and Justin Shilling, 17. McDonald said she is a mother and “would treat this case as if it were my own children.”
She said there was a “mountain of digital evidence,” including videos and social media posts that show the attack was planned “long before” Tuesday.
Authorities said the suspect came to the school with a plan.
“He came out with the intention of killing people. He was shooting people at point blank range, often towards the head or the chest, ”Bouchard said. said on CNN early Wednesday. “It’s freezing. It’s just absolutely ruthless murder.
The students described a chaotic scene on Tuesday after a voice came over the intercom to announce an active shooter. Some did not know if it was an exercise. The teachers rushed to lock and barricade the doors and cover the windows. The students were in tears and texted loved ones.
‘Open the door’:Scary video shows Michigan students escaping through window during filming
Abbey Hodder, 15, a second year student, was in chemistry class when she thought she heard glass shattering.
“My teacher kind of got burned out and struggling,” she said, describing how she and her classmates got through their training as an active shooter. “The next thing I knew, I saw him pushing tables. It’s part of school protocol to barricade himself, so we all knew, barricade, barricade down. started pushing tables. “
The suspect’s father had bought a gun a few days earlier; possible warning signs investigated
Bouchard said the suspect’s father purchased the gun on Friday and the teen appeared to post pictures of the gun online days before the shooting.
Deputy Sheriff Michael McCabe admitted there were rumors of warning signs, which were under investigation. A parent told The Associated Press that his son was out of school for fear something might happen.
“He just said ‘Mom, I don’t feel comfortable. None of the kids we go to school with are going today,'” Robin Redding told news agency. , who has a son in his final year.
In court on Wednesday, authorities read aloud the arrest warrant for the suspect, detailing a video he made the day before the attack as he “spoke of shooting and killing students on the next day, ”said Lt. Tim Willis of the Sheriff’s Office.
Willis said authorities found a diary in which the suspect wrote about his “desire” to murder his classmates. He noted that the suspect’s social media accounts included photos of the weapon used in the attack.
The “epidemic” of gun violence in the United States:Oxford High in Michigan is the 28th school shootout of 2021
The suspect had been reported twice by school staff for “worrying behavior” before the attack, Bouchard said. The first time happened the day before the shooting and the second a few hours before the attack.
Bouchard said the suspect’s parents were brought to the school around 10 a.m. for a meeting with the student and school staff, about three hours before the shooting.
Bouchard said the shooting started shortly before 1 p.m. Surveillance footage around the school showed the suspect leaving a bathroom with the gun and firing randomly in the hallways.
He said the video showed the teenager had never entered a classroom. The weapon was a 9mm Sig Sauer SP2022 pistol. Bouchard said the teenager was arrested with a total of 18 live bullets remaining, including bullets still loaded in the gun.
Who was killed, injured in the Oxford shooting?
Tate Myre died in a patrol car as an assistant rushed him to hospital, Bouchard said. Justin Shilling died in a hospital Wednesday.
Seven people were injured, including a teacher. Bouchard said most of the other gunshot victims were stable, but some remained in critical condition. Police said a 14-year-old girl was placed on a ventilator after surgery and the 47-year-old teacher was released after receiving treatment.
A post on the Oxford High School football team’s Twitter page said Tate had been a college football player since his freshman year and was an honorary student. “Tate was a wonderful young man with a bright future and loved by all. We will miss you, Tate,” the tweet read.
“He was a great football player with the brightest future and was an even better young man off the pitch than he was there”, another tweet read.
The school’s women’s basketball team tweeted that Hana St. Juliana was a dedicated member of the program. “We will never forget your kind heart, your silly personality and your passion for the game.… This season we are playing for you Hana”, the read message.
McDonald said that Hana also played volleyball and that her father called her “one of the happiest and most joyful children.”
Madisyn Baldwin’s grandmother described the 17-year-old as a talented artist and told WDIV-TV that she has received several college acceptances. Madisyn was patient and “so kind,” her grandmother told the TV station.
McDonald said Madisyn is also a big sister.
Justin Shilling, 17, was co-captain of the Oxford bowling team and a golfer, McDonald said.
More from the Oxford community:City holds vigils and prays for peace following Michigan high school shooting
How the Oxford high school shooting unfolded
At 12:51 p.m. on Tuesday, police dispatchers received a 911 call for an active shooter at Oxford High School. Over 100 calls were received. About five minutes after the initial call, Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies arrested the suspect, McCabe said.
It does not appear that the victims were specifically targeted, said Bouchard.
McCabe said the school had “done everything right” and made everyone safe. Barricaded doors and swift action by first responders “saved lives,” Bouchard said.
Abbey said she and her classmates lined up against a wall and grabbed something to throw, also part of their active marksmanship training. Soon after, their teacher told them to jump out the window and run.
A video widely shared on social media from inside a classroom showed students hiding when they heard a knock on the door. A voice from outside the classroom said, “The sheriff’s office. You can go out safely. Inside, a person replied, “We’re not prepared to take that risk just yet.”
“It’s okay,” the voice outside insisted. ” Open the door. Everything is fine, my brother. When the students heard the person outside use the word “brother,” a pandemonium erupted. Someone called it a “red flag” because a sheriff’s deputy probably wouldn’t use the word “brother”. The students escaped through a window and a sheriff’s deputy greeted them as they walked through another door through a courtyard.
Bouchard said after investigating and reviewing surveillance footage that TikTok video did not capture the suspect knocking on the door and trying to trick students into leaving the classroom.
“We have now been able to determine that this was not the suspect. More than likely, it was one of our undercover detectives, and he may have spoken ‘brother’ in a conversational fashion to try and get them off. get out of the crisis, “Bouchard said at a press conference. “The suspect, we have now confirmed by analyzing the entire video from the beginning until we took him into custody, never knocked on a door.”
Elderly Ashley Bales didn’t realize the intercom call was real until she got a text from her sister. She and her classmates ran outside and down a slippery hill towards a Meijer grocery store during the shooting. She was punched in the face in the crowd but was fine.
“It was difficult for me because my sister was still in school,” she said.
Brandi Lawrey said she was on the phone with her daughter, Makenzie, 17, as she fled from the building as police took her out. Lawrey said Makenzie’s class barricaded their door with tables and chairs, then got stuck in a far corner before leaving the building.
“All of the words in her text and the fear in her voice kept filtering through my mind,” Lawrey said Wednesday morning. “Makenzie is devastated and heartbroken. She’s scared.”
Schools superintendent Tim Throne said Oxford High does not have metal detectors. Authorities know how the student brought the gun, McCabe said, but he did not elaborate.
McCabe said the district and the superintendent were working hard to keep the school’s 1,800 students safe, pointing to the fact that a deputy is assigned to the school and was involved in the suspect’s arrest.
How many school shootings have taken place this year?
There have been 28 school shootings this year, according to Education Week, which tracks shootings in schools where there are gun-related injuries or deaths.
Of these, 20 have occurred since August, when many students returned to in-person learning for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. There were 10 recorded shootings in 2020.
Tuesday’s incident is the 651st in 2021 in which at least four people have been shot, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Contributors: Khalil AlHajal, Elisha Anderson, Liz Shepard, David Jesse, Kristen Jordan Shamus and Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press; Michael Braun, Fort Myers News-Press; The Associated Press