Oxford High School shooting: Everything we know about deadly Michigan attack and suspect Ethan Crumbley

Oxford High School shooting: Everything we know about deadly Michigan attack and suspect Ethan Crumbley
© Reuters The vigil at Lake Point Community Church in Oxford, Michigan – Reuters

Three students were killed and at least eight others injured in a mass shooting at a suburban high school in Michigan on Tuesday.

The suspected shooter, 15-year-old sophomore Ethan Crumbley, was taken into custody by police in response to the incident at Oxford High School in Oxford Township, a community of 22,000 people 30 miles north of Detroit, and a semi-automatic handgun was recovered.

On Wednesday Mr Crumbley appeared virtually in court to hear charges of terrorism and first degree murder, to which he pled not guilty. Prosecutors accused him of “methodically and deliberately” walking the halls of his school and shooting fellow students.

The teenager was charged as an adult with one count of terrorism, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Taken together, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said the charges stemmed from “undeniable” evidence that the attack was premeditated.

County undersheriff Mike McCabe said the suspect had not offered any resistance when he was apprehended – within five minutes of the first 911 call being received – and that a motive for the attack had not yet been established, the boy having invoked his right to an attorney and declined to speak to officers.

Mr McCabe said investigators planned to examine his social media posts for clues towards a possible motive.

Because he is under 18, the suspect was initially kept in juvenile detention, but on Wednesday a judge accepted the prosecution’s request to have him transferred to Oakland County Jail because he could pose a threat to other minors.

The three students killed in the shooting were Tate Myre, 16; Hanna St Julian, 14; and Madisyn Baldwin, 17.

Myre, a popular member of the school’s American football team who is said to have attempted to disarm the shooter, succumbed to his wounds in a patrol car as a deputy tried to rush him to hospital.

One of the injured victims is believed to be a teacher at Oxford High and the rest are pupils. All of the wounded are currently being cared for in local hospitals, Mr McCabe said, with six in a stable condition and two admitted to surgery.

Tim Throne, the superintendent of Oxford Community Schools, told reporters: “I’m shocked. It’s devastating.”

The Oakland County undersheriff was quick to praise the school’s actions, saying: “There was an orderly evacuation, the school did everything right. Everybody remained in place. They barricaded themselves.”

Chilling footage subsequently emerging from the incident showed students running for cover and classroom doors being barred with chairs as the shooter talked the halls, having emerged from a bathroom at approximately 12.51pm and firing off between 15 and 20 shots from multiple magazines.

Police said Mr Crumbley had used a Sig Sauer semi-automatic pistol that his father had bought only four days earlier.

At at least one point, the shooter is seen banging on doors claiming to be a police officer in a bid to dupe people into coming out into the corridor.

Pupils later recounted stories of their teachers leading them out of harm’s way and making calls to try to determine whether the order to leave was just a practice drill or a real active-shooter incident.

Parents were told to avoid the campus and instead to meet their children in the parking lot of a nearby Meijer store.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Robin Redding, mother to Oxford 12th grader Treshan Bryant, commented: “This couldn’t be just random. Kids just, like they’re just mad at each other at this school.”

Her son added that he had not attended classes on Tuesday because he had a bad feeling about the day’s events and indicated that he had heard threats about a potential shooting “for a long time now”.

“You’re not supposed to play about that,” he said. “This is real life.”

But Oakland County sheriff Michael Bouchard denied that threats had been received in advance, commenting: “There was no prior information shared with the Sheriff’s Office or the School Resource Officer before the incident.”

Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a statement in response to the tragedy on Tuesday, offering her condolences to the Oxford community, thanking first responders and speaking out on what she called a “crisis” of gun violence.

“As Michiganders, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect each other from gun violence,” Governor Whitmer said.

“No one should be afraid to go to school, work, a house of worship, or even their own home. Gun violence is a public health crisis that claims lives every day. We have the tools to reduce gun violence in Michigan. This is a time for us to come together and help our children feel safe at school.”

President Joe Biden was kept abreast of the situation and said that his “heart goes out to the families enduring the unimaginable grief of losing a loved one”.

“You’ve gotta know that that whole community has to be just in a state of shock right now,” he said from Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, Minnesota.

Local people gathered for a candlelit vigil at Lakepoint Community Church on Tuesday evening to mourn the dead, with several pictured breaking down in tears.

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