The 15-year-old who allegedly brought a gun to his Michigan high school and opened fire, killing four people and injuring seven more, has been charged with 24 crimes, including terrorism and first-degree murder, a county prosecutor announced Wednesday.
The Oxford High School sophomore faces 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 commitment of a felony. He will be tried as an adult and could be sentenced to life in prison.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald and law enforcement officials on Wednesday said that they have found evidence to suggest that the suspected shooter, identified as Ethan Crumbley, planned the attack and purposefully set out to kill students.
Evidence from the suspected shooter's cellphone includes two separate videos the teenager made the night before the incident "wherein he talked about shooting and killing students the next day at Oxford High School," Oakland County Sheriff's Lt. Tim Willis said in an arraignment hearing.
A journal was also recovered from the suspect's backpack detailing his desire to "shoot up the school to include murdering students," Willis said.
"There are facts leading up to the shooting that suggest this was not an impulsive act," McDonald said. "We have charged four counts of first-degree murder, which require premeditation. And I am absolutely sure after reviewing the evidence that it isn’t even a close call. It was absolutely premeditated."
In a press conference yesterday, Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe said police were notified of an active shooter situation at Oxford High School at approximately 12:51 p.m. on Tuesday. Crumbley was arrested approximately five minutes after the first call came in, he said. Law enforcement has identified the victims as Tate Myre, 16, Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17.
McDonald said that the terrorism charges were appropriate in this case because of the number of people who have been affected by the crime in addition to the four dead and seven injured.
"What about 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."
In a press conference Wednesday, Sheriff Michael Bouchard said that the school had raised concerns about the 15-year-old the day before and the day of the shooting for "behavior in the classroom that they felt was concerning."
Although he declined to provide details on the behavior that prompted this concern, Bouchard said that teenager and his parents had a "face-to-face" meeting with school officials Tuesday — mere hours before the shooting.
The gun used in the attack was purchased by Crumbley's father four days beforehand, and Bouchard said that an investigation into the alleged shooter's parents is ongoing.
McDonald told reporters that charges may be filed against the shooter's parents depending on the results of that investigation. "We know that owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate," she said.
The suspected shooter has invoked his right to remain silent and has yet to talk to law enforcement.
A Michigan judge on Wednesday ordered that the suspected shooter be moved from a juvenile facility to county jail. She denied bond.
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