Content warning: Gun violence, injury descriptions
UPDATE – Wednesday 8:30 p.m.
The 15-year-old Oxford High School shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley will be moved and held in Oakland County Jail without bond, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard announced on Wednesday evening. The transfer from a juvenile facility in Oakland County to the jail came at the request of prosecutors, Bouchard said.
Oakland County Lieutenant Timothy Willis said Crumbley would be monitored and held away from the adult prison population, according to WDIV. Willis also said the police found a video made by Crumbley on Monday night in which he discussed killing students.
At Crumbley’s arraignment Wednesday evening, Judge Nancy Carniak entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Crumbley, who did not speak.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Marc Keast said at the arraignment that he reviewed the surveillance video from inside Oxford High School and determined that the suspect had “methodically and deliberately” shot at students in the hallway after exiting from a bathroom.
“He deliberately brought the handgun that day with the intent to murder as many students as he could,” Keast said.
Bouchard said in a press conference that Crumbley and his parents met with school officials both on Monday and just under three hours before the attack following “concerning” behavior. Bouchard would not provide details about the meeting, but said the suspect had no previous behavioral complaints with school officials and that the content of this meeting would be part of the investigation.
Bouchard also specified police had not been alerted to any concerning behavior or developing situation prior to Tuesday afternoon.
In regards to possible charges against Crumbley’s parents, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel told The Detroit Free Press that Michigan laws are unclear for charging adults for their firearm being used by a minor.
“We don’t have specific laws on the books that speak to that, like they have in other states,” Nessel said to the Free Press, while also emphasizing that she was not specifically talking about this case. “Theoretically, if you had a case where you had a teenager who had demonstrated some sort of instability mentally, or suicidal or homicidal thoughts or actions, or anything to that extent, and in addition to that you still allowed this child to have unfettered access to a weapon, then theoretically I don’t think it would be a huge stretch to charge the parents with involuntary manslaughter under those circumstances.”
ORIGINAL STORY – 3:40 p.m. Wednesday
A fourth student from the Oxford High School shooting died late Wednesday morning, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.
The student was identified as 17-year-old Justin Shilling by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. Shilling died in the McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, Mich. a day after being hospitalized and undergoing surgery for gunshot wounds, according to NBC News.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald offered updates on the investigation and prosecution at a press conference Wednesday afternoon, identifying the suspect as 15-year-old Oxford High School sophomore Ethan Crumbley.
McDonald said Crumbley will be charged as an adult with multiple counts, including one count of terrorism causing death, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
His arraignment will be later this afternoon, and he faces the potential sentence of life in prison, according to McDonald.
During the press conference, McDonald stressed that the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office was doing everything in its power to bring answers to the community on the extent of the charges against the suspect.
“We’re going to hold the people accountable and we’re going to receive justice for these victims,” McDonald said. “It’s possible there could be additional charges issued very soon when that investigation is reviewed and complete.”
Under Michigan law, juveniles over 14 years old who commit serious felonies can legally be tried in court as an adult, McDonald said.
“First degree murder is the most serious of all those crimes,” McDonald said. “Charging this person as an adult is necessary to achieve justice and to protect the public. Any other option would put all of us at risk of this person, because they could be released and still a threat.”
McDonald explained that the terrorism charges reflect the larger impacts of the shooting on the entire community.
“What about all the children who ran, screaming, hiding under desks?” McDonald said. “What about all the children at home right now who can’t eat and can’t sleep and can’t imagine a world where they could ever set foot back in that school? Those are victims too and so are their families and so is the community, and the charge of terrorism reflects that.”
During the press conference, McDonald declined to comment on specific facts of the case that are still being reviewed, saying they may interfere with the prosecution.
After reviewing a “mountain of digital evidence,” McDonald said prosecutors are confident they can demonstrate the attacks were premeditated “well before the incident.”
“There are facts leading up to the shooting that suggest this was not just an impulsive act,” McDonald said. “We charged four counts of first degree murder, which requires premeditation and I am absolutely sure after reviewing the evidence that it isn’t even a close call, it was absolutely premeditated.”
McDonald said the prosecution may also bring charges against Crumbley’s parents. The suspect’s father bought the weapon his son used in the shooting four days before it took place on Black Friday, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said Tuesday.
University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel reached out to the campus community in an email Wednesday afternoon, encouraging students, faculty and staff to reach out to university support services if necessary. Schlissel said the Counseling and Psychological Services have reallocated their resources for the next few days to help students affected by the shooting.
“We have dozens of students on our three campuses who are graduates of Oxford High School, the site of Tuesday’s tragic shooting, and thousands from the surrounding Oakland County area,” Schlissel wrote. “As a campus community we remain committed to helping each one of you in this time of grief, sadness, anger and frustration.”
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