Being named America’s deadliest to occur in three years, the nation is reeling from yet another school shooting in Michigan that occurred around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30. Officials say 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley opened fire on students after leaving a bathroom, just hours after having a meeting with his parents and school staff for behavior they found “concerning.”
After receiving over one hundred 911 calls about an active shooter on campus, police and medical services arrived at the scene five minutes after the first one and had Crumbley and his weapon, a nine-millimeter handgun with 18 rounds of ammunition left, in custody. While police on the scene believed only 15 to 20 shots were fired, the police department announced on Wednesday that 30 rounds were fired.
In total, eight people, including a teacher, were injured while four have died since the shooting. Two students, Hana St. Juliana, 14 and Madisyn Baldwin, 17, were both killed in the shooting while another, Tate Myre, 16, died before reaching the hospital in a patrol car after he bravely tried to take down Crumbley in the hopes of disarming him. According to NPR News, another student, Justin Shilling, 17, was lost as he succumbed to his injuries early Wednesday morning while three other victims remain hospitalized.
Oxford High has opted to close for the remainder of the week, allowing students and faculty to grieve their losses and recover from the shock of this horrifying nightmare. “As we grapple with the horrific tragedy in our school community, we grieve the students who lost their lives and we ache for all those who have been injured and impacted,” the school’s website reads. Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard tweeted his condolences for his community that “had its innocence shattered” while superintendent Tim Throne thanked students for their bravery, urging parents to “be as proud of your sons and daughters as I am.”
As ABC News reported on Thursday, Crumbley has been charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder and terrorism. Prosecutor Karen McDonald’s reasoning for charging the 15-year-old as an adult included a certain Michigan law that allows any person who commits serious crimes to receive these charges and evidence that shows the shooting was not just an impulsive act. While some have expressed confusion on why a count of terrorism was given, it was revealed that Crumbley had posted several photos and videos on social media showcasing violent behavior towards others as well as a journal detailing the event that was found in his backpack. Prosecutors also explained that this unusual charge would serve as a “warning” to other students who are circulating rumors and threats of copycat violence.
Crumbley is currently held in the local county jail without bond by order of the judge as prosecutors are still looking into other possible charges surrounding negligence and the defendant’s parents. While most school shootings do not end with charging the parents (even though most minors find these weapons in their own homes), McDonald felt strongly about her case because the weapon was “just freely available to that individual” and the lack of action from the parents “should be held accountable” for things “beyond negligence.”
Crumbley’s father had bought the weapon just four days before the shooting during a Black Friday sale, inciting fury across the country over the lack of gun control and easy accessibility Crumbley had when he created his plan. Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel called for action on gun violence as she made a statement on the losses the community has suffered while offering assistance in the investigation of the shooting.
Those with information on the suspect or any details relating to the shooting are asked to call Michigan police at (248) 858- 4911. Anyone interested but not sure how to help is urged to donate to one of the many crowdfunding pages, such as the booster club, set up that have already raised thousands for families of the victims and memorials being held soon. People can also donate in person at any of Oxford Bank’s seven branches, which can be found online.