Michigan boy, 15, charged in high school shooting

  • Emerson Miller, right, leans on her friend Joselyn’s shoulder as they listen to Jessi Holt, pastor at LakePoint Community Church, during a prayer vigil at the church after the Oxford High School shooting, Tuesday, in Oxford, Mich. The Flint Journal via AP

  • People attending a vigil embrace at LakePoint Community Church in Oxford, Mich., Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. Authorities say a 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at Oxford High School, killing several students and wounding multiple other people, including a teacher. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) Paul Sancya

  • An Oakland County Sheriff's deputy hugs family members of a student in the parking lot of Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. A 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at the school, killing several students and wounding multiple other people, including a teacher. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) Paul Sancya

  • A bouquet of roses sits on a sign outside of Oxford High School on the day after the school shooting in Oxford, Mich. Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. A 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at the school, killing several students and wounding multiple other people, including a teacher. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP) Jake May

  • Aiden Watson, who was injured at Oxford High School, attends a vigil with his mother at LakePoint Community Church in Oxford, Mich., late Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. Authorities say a 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at Oxford High School, killing three students and wounding several others, including a teacher. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) Paul Sancya

  • Oxford High School sophomore Allison Hepp, 15, holds a candle as she bows her head in prayer during a vigil after the Oxford High School school shootings, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, at LakePoint Community Church in Oxford, Mich. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)

  • Parents walk away with their kids from the Meijer's parking lot, where many students gathered following an active shooter situation at Oxford High School, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in Oxford, Mich. Police took a suspected shooter into custody and there were multiple victims, the Oakland County Sheriff's office said. (Eric Seals/Detroit Free Press via AP) Eric Seals

  • Aiden Watson, who was injured at Oxford High School, attends a vigil with his parents at LakePoint Community Church in Oxford, Mich., Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. Authorities say a 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at Oxford High School, killing three students and wounding several others, including a teacher. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) Paul Sancya

  • Authorities say a 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at his Michigan high school, killing three students and wounding six other people, including a teacher.

  • Joshua McDade, a former student at Oxford High School, attends a vigil at LakePoint Community Church in Oxford, Mich., Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. Authorities say a 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at Oxford High School, killing several students and wounding multiple other people, including a teacher. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) Paul Sancya

  • People attending a vigil embrace at LakePoint Community Church in Oxford, Mich., Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. Authorities say a 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at Oxford High School, killing three students and wounding several others, including a teacher. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) Paul Sancya

  • Students attend a vigil at LakePoint Community Church in Oxford, Mich., Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. Authorities say a 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at Oxford High School, killing several students and wounding multiple other people, including a teacher. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) Paul Sancya

  • Police are shown in the parking lot of a Meijer store where Oxford High School students were being reunited with parents in Oxford, Mich., Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. Authorities say a 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at Oxford High School, killing several students and wounding multiple other people, including a teacher. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) Paul Sancya

Published: 12/1/2021 7:35:20 PM
Modified: 12/1/2021 7:34:47 PM

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A 15-year-old boy was charged with murder and terrorism for a shooting that killed four fellow students and injured others at a Michigan high school, authorities said Wednesday, revealing that his parents were summoned just a few hours before the bloodshed.

No motive was offered by Oakland County authorities, a day after violence at Oxford High School, roughly 30 miles north of Detroit. But prosecutor Karen McDonald said the shooting was premeditated, based in part on a “mountain of digital evidence” collected by police.

“This was not just an impulsive act,” McDonald said.

Oakland County Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Willis said during a court hearing for Ethan Crumbley that the boy recorded video the night before the violence in which he discussed shooting and killing students.

Willis made the comments shortly before Crumbley was to be arraigned on charges of murder, attempted murder, terrorism causing death and gun crimes. He is charged as an adult. It wasn’t immediately known if he had an attorney who could comment.

Sheriff Mike Bouchard told reporters that Crumbley’s parents were called to the school Tuesday “for behavior in the classroom that was concerning.” The teen remained in school, and the shooting occurred a few hours later.

Bouchard didn’t offer details about what had troubled school officials. He said investigators believe the gun was already in school.

“There is nothing that he could have faced that would warrant senseless, absolutely brutal violence on other kids,” the sheriff 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 have to do better,” McDonald said without offering specific changes. “How many times does this have to happen? How many times?”

She said the terrorism charge also fits.

“What about all the children who ran, screaming, hiding under desks? ... Those are victims, too, and so are their families and so is the community,” McDonald said.

Deputies rushed to the school around lunchtime Tuesday and arrested Crumbley in a hallway within minutes of the shooting. His father bought the 9 mm Sig Sauer gun last week, according to the sheriff.

McDonald said charges were being considered against the parents.

“Owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate,” she said.

The four students who were killed were identified as 16-year-old Tate Myre, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin and 17-year-old Justin Shilling.

After the attack, authorities learned of social media posts about threats of a shooting at the roughly 1,700-student school. The sheriff stressed how crucial it is for such tips to be sent to authorities, while also cautioning against spreading social media rumors before a full investigation.

Isabel Flores, a 15-year-old ninth grader, told Detroit television station WJBK that she and other students heard gunshots and saw another student bleeding from the face. They then ran from the area through the rear of the school, she said.

A concerned parent, Robin Redding, said her son, 12th-grader Treshan Bryant, stayed home Tuesday after hearing threats of a possible shooting.

“This couldn’t be just random,” she said.

Bryant said he had heard vague threats “for a long time now” about plans for a shooting.

At a vigil Tuesday night at LakePoint Community Church, Leeann Dersa choked back tears as she hugged friends and neighbors. Dersa has lived nearly all of her 73 years in Oxford. Her grandchildren attended the high school.

“Scared us all something terrible. It’s awful,” Dersa said of the shooting.

Pastor Jesse Holt said news of the shooting flooded in to him and his wife, including texts from some of the 20 to 25 students who are among the 400-member congregation.

“Some were very scared, hiding under their desks and texting us, ‘We’re safe, we’re OK. We heard gunshots, but we’re OK.’ They were trying to calm us, at least that’s how it felt,” he said.




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