The kid, Ethan Crumbley, was prosecuted as an adult, according to Oakland County prosecutor Karen D. McDonald. Mr. Crumbley faces seven counts of assault with intent to murder and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, in addition to four counts of first-degree murder and one act of terrorism causing death.
Prosecutors in suburban Detroit charged a 15-year-old boy with terrorism and first-degree murder on Wednesday in connection with the shooting deaths of four of his classmates at Oxford High School on Tuesday.
Michael Bouchard, Ms. McDonald is also exploring charges against the suspect’s parents, who had a face-to-face meeting with school authorities on Tuesday — just three hours before the shooting — regarding the suspect’s classroom conduct.
Sheriff Bouchard said the suspect had also met with school officials about concerning behavior on Monday, the day before the shooting. He declined to specify the nature of that behavior, but said law enforcement agencies had not been notified.
The sheriff said the district had no record that the suspect had been bullied at school, and he did not believe specific students were targeted in the attack.
During a video arraignment on Wednesday afternoon, authorities told a judge that investigators had recovered two separate videos from the suspect’s cellphone, which were made the night before the incident. He talked about shooting and killing students the next day at Oxford High. A journal in his backpack also detailed his desire to “shoot up the school,” authorities said.
The suspect, who had no previous juvenile record, according to a court official, appeared at his arraignment Wednesday afternoon via video from a juvenile detention facility. His parents, who identified themselves as Jennifer and James Crumbley, were also on the video conference observing the arraignment. His lawyer pleaded not guilty on his behalf.
The announcement of charges came just hours after a fourth student, Justin Shilling, 17, died at about 10 a.m. at McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, Mich., the authorities said.
The other students killed in the shooting had been previously identified as Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; and Tate Myre, 16, who died in a sheriff’s squad car while on the way to a hospital. Seven other people were injured. The suspect emerged from a bathroom on Tuesday and started firing at students in the school’s hallway, the authorities said on Wednesday after reviewing video footage of the attack. Sheriff Bouchard said investigators were poring through many hours of video from security cameras to track the suspect’s actions, but his targets “appeared random.”
Prosecutors said it was clear that the suspect planned the shooting. “He methodically and deliberately walked down the hallway, aiming the firearm at students and firing,” said Marc Keast, an assistant prosecuting attorney, at the court arraignment. He added, “He deliberately brought the handgun that day with the intent to murder as many students as he could.” Sheriff Bouchard said investigators had determined no possible motive for the shooting, which he described as “absolutely brutally cold hearted.” The suspect was being held at a juvenile jail early Wednesday, under suicide watch. Because of the charges against him, a judge later ordered that he moved to the adult jail and held in isolation, with no contact with adult inmates. No bond was set.
The gunman fired about 30 shots with a semiautomatic handgun before being apprehended with 18 live rounds still in his possession, the authorities said. When the boy’s parents went to a sheriff’s substation after the shooting, they declined to let investigators question their child, Undersheriff McCabe said.
The sheriff told reporters on Tuesday that a 9-millimeter Sig Sauer handgun used in the shooting had been bought four days earlier by the suspect’s father. Sheriff Bouchard said investigators had been told that the gunman pretended to be an officer in order to access barricaded classrooms, but later said that reviewing video evidence confirmed that he had not knocked on doors. “We know from physical evidence he shot through doors up and down more than one hallway,” the sheriff said on Wednesday.
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- Prior to the Michigan shooting, the suspect’s parents spoke to school officials during school hours.
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