Oxford Township, Mich. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy was charged Wednesday with murder, terrorism and other counts for a shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan that killed four fellow students and injured others.
The charges against Ethan Crumbley were announced Wednesday, hours after authorities reported the death of a fourth teen at a school in southeastern Michigan. Crumbley is charged as an adult with one count of terrorism causing death, four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of assault with intent to murder.
Prosecutor Karen McDonald on Tuesday did not disclose a possible motive for the shooting at Oxford High School, a community of about 22,000 people about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Detroit. However, she said prosecutors are “convinced” they can show the crime was premeditated.
“There is a mountain of digital evidence. Videotape, social media, all digital evidence is possible,” she said.
Arrived at the school around lunch time and within minutes arrested the suspect in a hallway. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said at a news conference late Tuesday that he put his hands up in the air.
Bouchard said the boy’s father bought the 9mm Sig Sauer used in the shooting on Friday. Bouchard said he did not know why the man bought the semi-automatic handgun, pictures of which his son had posted and was practicing shooting.
The four students killed were identified as 16-year-old Tate Myere, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 17-year-old Madison Baldwin and 17-year-old Justin Schilling, who died on Wednesday.
Bouchard said Maire died in a patrol car as the deputy tried to take her to the emergency room.
One teacher left the hospital with a shoulder injury, but seven students aged 14 to 17 remained hospitalized overnight with bullet wounds, he said.
Bouchard said the gun the boy was carrying had seven more rounds of gunpowder when he surrendered.
Undersheriff Mike McCabe said the student’s parents advised their son not to speak to investigators. He said that the police should take permission from the parents or guardians of the juvenile to talk to them.
After the attack, authorities became aware of social media posts that threatened to shoot around 1,700 students at the school. The sheriff stressed how important it is to send such suggestions to the authorities, and cautioned against spreading rumors on social media before a full investigation.
McCabe downplayed the significance of a situation in early November when a deer’s head was thrown from the school’s roof, which he said was “absolutely unrelated” to the shooting. The incident prompted school administrators to post Two letters to parents on the school’s website, saying they were responding to rumors of threats against the school but found none.
Bouchard said the student detained in the shooting had no prior disputes with his department, and was not aware of any disciplinary history at the school.
“It is part of our investigation to determine what happened before this incident and if some signals were missed, how they were missed and why,” he said.
The district said in a statement that all schools would remain closed for the rest of the week.
Isabel Flores, a 15-year-old ninth grade student, told Detroit television station WJBK that she and other students heard gunshots and saw blood oozing from another student’s face. Then they ran from the area past the school, she said.
A concerned parent, Robin Redding, said their son, 12th-grade Treshaan Bryant, stayed home Tuesday after hearing threats of a possible shooting.
“It can’t just be random,” she said.
Bryant said he had heard vague threats “for a long time” about plans to shoot.
In a vigil Tuesday night at Lakepoint Community Church, Leanne Dursa burst into tears as she hugged friends and neighbors. Dersa has spent almost her entire 73 years in Oxford. His grandson attended high school.
“Something terrifying scared us all. It’s terrifying,” Dursa said of the shooting.
Pastor Jesse Holt said he and his wife were reported to have been shot, with lessons from some of the 20 to 25 students in the 400-member congregation.
“Some were very scared, hiding under their desks and texting us, ‘We’re safe, we’re fine. We heard gunshots, but we’re fine.’ They were trying to pacify us, at least that’s what it felt like,” he said.
Associated Press journalists Ryan Criska, Mike Householder and David Aguilar in Oxford Township, Michigan; Kathleen Foodie in Chicago; and Josh Bock in Rosemount, Minnesota contributed to this report.