Latest updates on Oxford High School shooting: Parents plead not guilty

Four people were killed and seven injured in a shooting Tuesday afternoon at Oxford High School in Oakland County, roughly 45 minutes northwest of Detroit. It was the nation's deadliest school shooting in three years.

A suspect, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, was taken into custody at the scene, and has since been charged on counts of terrorism, first-degree murder and more. His parents also face charges and are in custody.

The slain students — Tate Myre, 16, Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17 — are being remembered as athletes, an honors student and an artist.

Here is what we know so far, including the latest updates.

This breaking news story will be updated as more information becomes available.

James Crumbley, left, and Jennifer Crumbley
James Crumbley, left, and Jennifer Crumbley

James and Jennifer Crumbley arraigned

James and Jennifer Crumbley each pleaded not guilty to four involuntary manslaughter charges Saturday morning. They both received a $500,000 bond.

—Elisha Anderson

Parents face involuntary manslaughter charges, later found and arrested

James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, each face four counts of involuntary manslaughter. They were scheduled to be arraigned by video in 52-3 District Court in Rochester Hills on Friday, but they did not appear, prompting a search. They were later found and arrested overnight in Detroit.

Oakland Country Prosecutor Karen McDonald laid out evidence for the charges, which included social media posts by Jennifer and Ethan Crumbley and text messages and email sent by Jennifer Crumbley to Ethan Crumbley.

The arraignment for James and Jennifer Crumbley is set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday. You can watch it here.

Elisha Anderson, Gina Kaufman, Emma Stein and Brian Dickerson

Thousands attend Oxford vigil

Thousands of people bundled up to honor the victims of the shooting, chanting "We are Oxford" in the village streets.

—Darcie Moran, Susan Vela, Scott Talley

Victim's organs to be donated

The organs of Justin Shilling, who was declared brain dead Wednesday, will be donated to Gift of Life.

McLaren Oakland Hospital staff and his family will participate in an honor walk, where they will lines the halls of the Pontiac hospital and clap for Justin and his family's gift, Friday. Afterward, family, friends and supporters will rally outside the hospital and caravan with a parade of cars.

Kristen Jordan Shamus

Shooting suspect searched online for ammo, had concerning drawings

An Oxford High School teacher was concerned after spotting Ethan Crumbley searching for ammunition in class and alerted school officials. An alarming note on Ethan Crumbley's desk also drew attention and led to a meeting between Ethan Crumbley and his parents the morning of the shooting.

The new details raises more questions about what school officials knew about the suspect in the days before the deadly shooting.

Lily Altavena

Prosecutor: Unreleased evidence is 'disturbing'

During a radio interview Thursday, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald was asked about comments she made during a TV interview on the mass shooting at Oxford High School.

“There is an additional piece of evidence that hasn’t been released yet, but I can assure you ... it was troubling, it was disturbing, and unfortunately, he was allowed to go back to class,” McDonald said Wednesday during the interview with WDIV-TV (Channel 4).

McDonald was asked about those comments on "Mojo in the Morning" on WKQI-FM (Channel 955).

“The only people who knew that there was a threat and an access to a gun did not work at that school,” McDonald said, adding she reviewed the evidence and thinks Oxford High School and their employees did the best they could with the information they had.

—Elisha Anderson

U-M football to wear patch during Big Ten title game

When Michigan football takes the field for its first-ever Big Ten championship game appearance, the Wolverines’ uniforms will have a slightly different look.

Michigan’s jerseys will feature a patch honoring Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Myre, Hana St. Juliana and Justin Shilling, who were killed in the school shooting at Oxford High on Tuesday. The octagonal maize-and-blue patch on the right chest features the letters, “TM,” and the number, “42,” worn by Myre, an Oxford football player. It also features four hearts, for the four slain students.

—Ryan Ford

Copycat threats putting metro Detroit schools on edge

Waves of chaos continued to descend upon metro Detroit on Thursday, two days after the rampage at Oxford High School that left four students dead and seven others injured.

With copycat threats circulating on social media, districts in Oakland County and beyond canceled classes out of caution for students' safety. Law enforcement leaders continued to emphasize the severity with which they will pursue all reports of threats.

“If you’re making threats, we’re going to find you,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said during a news conference Thursday, specifically called to address the estimated hundreds of copycat threats reported. “It is ridiculous you’re inflaming the fears and passion of parents, teachers, and the community in the midst of a real tragedy.”

—Miriam Marini

More: Deceiving social media accounts are problematic, but may not be illegal

Oxford superintendent posts public message

Tim Throne, superintendent of Oxford Community Schools, addressed community members in a video message posted Thursday, one of the first public messages of a school official following Tuesday's tragic shooting.

In the video, Throne stressed that the suspected shooter did not have a disciplinary record at Oxford High School. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said Wednesday that the 15-year-old suspect met with high school officials the day before and morning of the shooting to discuss his behavior.

"There's just been a lot of talk about the student that was apprehended, that he was called up to the office and all that kind of stuff," Throne said in the 12-minute message. "No discipline was warranted. There are no discipline records at the high school. Yes, this student did have contact with our front office. And yes, his parents were on campus."

Throne said that was all he could say about the suspect.

—Lily Altavena

Oxford shooting suspect had video, writing about killing classmates

Oakland County Sheriff's Lt. Tim Willis said during the Wednesday arraignment that Crumbley recorded video on his phone the night before the incident talking about shooting and killing students at school the next day. Willis also said a journal in the suspect's backpack detailed his desire to do so.

—Darcie Moran, Christine MacDonald, Elisha Anderson, Gina Kaufman, Niraj Warikoo

School officials met with the suspect's parents earlier that day

McDonald, the prosecutor, named the suspect as 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, of the Village of Oxford, on Wednesday. Officials also divulged new details of his day.

The teen and school officials had contact the day before and the day of the shooting, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said, "for behavior in the classroom that they felt was concerning."

"In fact, the parents were brought in the morning of the shooting and had a face-to-face meeting with the school," he said.

—Darcie Moran, Lily Altavena, Dave Boucher

Prosecutors say the Oxford shooting suspect was methodical

Surveillance footage showed about that time a 15-year-old boy had gone into a bathroom with a backpack and come out with a gun, Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor Marc Keast said during the suspect's arraignment Wednesday.

"At that point, he methodically and deliberately walked down the hallway, aiming the firearm at students in firing. ... After children started running away from the defendant, he continued down the hallway — again in a deliberate and methodical pace — pointing and aiming inside classrooms and at students who hadn't had the opportunity to escape," Keast said.

The teen surrendered when approached by responding deputies, Keast said.

—Darcie Moran

Oxford High School students Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Tate Myre, 16, at top, and Justin Shilling, 17, and Hana St. Juliana, 14, were killed in a school shooting on Nov. 30.
Oxford High School students Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Tate Myre, 16, at top, and Justin Shilling, 17, and Hana St. Juliana, 14, were killed in a school shooting on Nov. 30.

Who were the Oxford High School shooting victims?

Four people have been killed, the sheriff's office said:

  • Tate Myre, 16

  • Hana St. Juliana, 14

  • Madisyn Baldwin, 17

  • Justin Shilling, 17

Myre died in a patrol car as a deputy rushed to a hospital, Bouchard said. He noted that an employee at the emergency dispatch center also had a loved one die in the attack.

Shilling died from his injuries at approximately 10 a.m. Wednesday at McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, police said.

More: Oxford High School shooting victims include an honors student, athletes and an artist

Myre was a junior football player and an honors student, said Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald.

Juliana was a volleyball and basketball player, and her father said that she was one of the happiest and most joyful kids, McDonald said.

Baldwin was a talented artist and big sister, McDonald said.

Shilling was co-captain of the Oxford bowling team and a golfer. His parents, still reeling from their tragic loss, penned a letter to some in the tight-knit Oxford community.

—Darcie Moran

More Metro Detroit schools closing due to threats

In the wake of the Oxford High School shooting on Tuesday, school districts across the area began announcing late Wednesday plans to call off classes on Thursday.

Such districts closing include Bloomfield Hills, Holly, Rochester, Troy, Warren, Clawson, Novi, Farmington and more.

Though many schools are closing out of an abundance of caution, others mention safety concerns and reported threats. Oxford High School, meanwhile, is closed through the rest of the week.

Who was injured in the Oxford High School shooting?

Seven people were injured, including a teacher. Three were in critical condition, Bouchard said Tuesday night:

  • A 17-year-old female was in critical condition with gunshot wounds to the chest at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac.

  • A 14-year-old female was in critical condition with gunshot wounds to the chest and neck at Hurley Medical Center in Flint.

  • A 47-year-old female teacher was discharged from McLaren Lapeer Region Hospital after being treated for gunshot wounds to the shoulder.

  • A 17-year-old male was in stable condition with gunshot wounds to the hip at Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital

  • A 14-year-old male was in serious condition with gunshot wounds to the jaw and hand at McLaren Oakland.

  • A 17-year-old female was in stable condition with gunshot wounds to the neck at McLaren Oakland.

  • A 15-year-old male was in stable condition with gunshot wounds to the leg at McLaren Oakland.

As of Wednesday afternoon, four of the individuals injured — the 14-year-old boy with gunshots to the jaw and hand, the 17-year-old boy with a hip wound, the 15-year-old boy with a leg wound, and the teacher — had been discharged, Bouchard said.

The 14-year-old girl had improved and been taken off a ventilator as of Wednesday afternoon, Bouchard said.

—Darcie Moran

Shooting at Oxford High School
Shooting at Oxford High School

The Oxford shooting happened in about five minutes

At 12:51 p.m., police dispatchers received a 911 call — more than 100 ultimately came in — for an active shooter at Oxford High School in Oakland County.

He was taken into custody within about five minutes of the first call, Undersheriff Michael McCabe said.

More: Chilling video shows pandemonium inside an Oxford classroom

Police initially said they believed about 15 to 20 shots were fired in the south end of the school. On Wednesday, Bouchard told CNN that 30 rounds were fired.

—Darcie Moran, Frank Witsil, Lily Altavena, Liz Shepard

Students described confusion over the call of an active shooter

Oxford High School students told reporters of a chaotic scene in which a voice came over the intercom to announce an active shooter and they didn't know whether it was a drill. Then teachers rushed to lock and barricade doors and cover windows. Students were in tears and texted loved ones.

McCabe said the school did "everything right" and had everyone take shelter.

SWAT, more than 60 ambulances and an aviation unit were all called to the scene. FBI agents were also present Tuesday afternoon.

Eventually, students with transportation were allowed to leave. A nearby Meijer closed down and served as a reunification site for parents and students.

—Frank Witsil, Lily Altavena, Liz Shepard, Darcie Moran

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The suspect surrendered

The teen had a handgun when police — a deputy assigned to the school and another deputy — spotted him coming down a hall with a 9mm handgun, officials said. He had 18 rounds of ammunition left, Bouchard said.

He put his hands up.

He invoked his right not to speak to investigators and requested a lawyer.

Moment by moment: How the Oxford High School shooting unfolded

He was taken to Oakland County's Children Village, the county's juvenile detention facility, McCabe said, and County Executive David Coulter said he was under suicide watch Tuesday night.

Police searched the suspect’s house and his parents hired an attorney.

—Darcie Moran

What charges is the Oxford High shooting suspect facing?

Crumbley was arraigned Wednesday afternoon on one count of terrorism, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

A first-degree murder charge is punishable by up to life in prison.

McDonald is charging Crumbley as an adult. She cited these reasons:

  • There are crimes under Michigan law so serious that a person who commits them can be automatically charged as an adult.

  • The evidence shows the shooting was no impulsive act.

  • "Any other option would put all of us at risk to this -- of this person because they could be released and still (be) a threat," she said.

Furthermore, the count of terrorism is an unusual step for this kind of case, but prosecutors hope it serves as a warning to pranksters — particularly other students — who are starting and circulating rumors and threats of copycat violence, even if they don't intend to carry them out.

—Darcie Moran, Frank Witsil, Niraj Warikoo

Crumbley is being held without bond

His lawyers made no argument during arraignment for his release and the judge ordered him transferred to the county jail and held without bond.

—Darcie Moran

Will the Oxford High suspect's parents be charged?

"We are considering charges against both parents and we will be making decisions swiftly," McDonald said Wednesday.

The two appeared by video for their son's arraignment Wednesday afternoon.

—Darcie Moran

What was the Oxford High School shooting suspect's motive?

Crumbley isn't talking, police said. But Bouchard told CNN on Wednesday that investigators found something written by the suspect that may point to a motive, Bouchard said.

"We can't get the motive from the suspect that we have in custody, but we think we've for a path to get a lot of supportive information as to how and why this occurred," Bouchard said.

McDonald also said the attack was clearly premeditated for some time before the shooting.

Bouchard said the school's anti-bullying program coordinator had no indication that the suspect had been bullied.

"There is nothing that he could have faced that would warrant senseless, absolutely brutal violence on other kids," the sheriff said.

—Darcie Moran, Elisha Anderson

Where did the suspect get the gun?

The teen's father bought the gun four days before the shooting, Bouchard said. That was on Black Friday.

The weapon was a 9mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 pistol and the suspect had at least two, 15-round magazines.

The suspect's father is said to have bought a third magazine that hasn't been located, but Bouchard suspects it will be found at the school, he said.

Bouchard confirmed that on social media someone had posted photos of what could have been the same gun and some shooting targets in the days leading up to Tuesday's shooting. He said the suspect appeared to make an online post with an image of the gun.

—Dave Boucher, Darcie Moran

Parents say kids thought something might happen that day

Parents like Robin Redding, whose 12th-grade son stayed home from school Tuesday, have said there were rumblings that something could happen.

“He was not in school today," she told the Associated Press. "He just said that 'Ma, I don’t feel comfortable. None of the kids that we go to school with are going today.' "

McCabe acknowledged there are rumors about warning signs and said that they are being investigated.

“We’re hearing all kinds of rumors about warning signs. … There’s all kinds of stuff out on social media. Please don't believe everything you hear and see on social media," he said.

When asked about threats the school previously addressed and a prior incident involving a severed deer head on campus, McCabe said Tuesday's violence was unrelated.

The undersheriff said he was unaware of the suspect having any prior run-ins with law enforcement.

The sheriff also repeatedly stressed his office was not aware of any credible threats of violence before the shooting.

—Darcie Moran, Lily Altavena, Liz Shepard, Frank Witsil

Police know how the gun got into Oxford High School

Bouchard said the vast majority of American schools don't have metal detectors.

McCabe said the school district and superintendent work hard to keep students safe. He highlighted the fact that a deputy is assigned to the school and was involved in the suspect's arrest.

"Not all schools have metal detectors; they have one entrance. ... Should every school and every building have metal detectors? You know, it's very expensive, but I can't answer that question, I don't know," he said.

—Darcie Moran

Where is Oxford High School?

Oxford High School is in Oxford Township in Oakland County, and about 45 minutes northwest of downtown Detroit.

The school had 1,475 students enrolled in the 2020-21 school year, according to state data.

McCabe said the school has 1,800 students.

Students come from the Village of Oxford and Oxford Township, as well as Orion, Dryden, Metamora and Addison townships.

Oxford Township, where the school is located and which includes the village of Oxford, boasts about 20,000 residents, according to the township website.

—Darcie Moran

President Biden addresses Oxford shooting

President Joe Biden addressed the shooting while speaking during a visit to Minnesota on Tuesday.

“My heart goes out to the families that are enduring the unimaginable grief of losing a loved one," he said.

“You’ve got to know that whole community has to be in a state of shock right now."

—Darcie Moran, Todd Spangler

Michigan leaders addressed the Oxford High School shooting, too

"This is an unimaginable tragedy," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said during a 5 p.m. news conference at the school. She later said, her voice cracking, that it's every parent's worst nightmare.

She asked Michiganders to support the community and called the shooting a uniquely American problem that needs to be addressed.

"I’m devastated for the students, teachers, staff, and families of Oxford High School," she said via Twitter. "The death of multiple students and shooting of others, including a teacher, is horrific. My heart is with the parents who had their children taken from them and with the entire Oxford community."

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel called for action on gun violence in a statement.

“My heart goes out to the parents who have lost their children and to the students, teachers, staff, and families reeling from the tragedy of a school shooting within their community," she said. "My department has reached out to local law enforcement to offer assistance as this investigation unfolds and I want to extend my sincere gratitude to first responders on the scene."

—Darcie Moran

Oxford High School shooting the deadliest school shooting this year

That's according to Education Week.

Ten shootings have taken place at Michigan K-12 schools causing injury or death since 2014, according to Gun Violence Archive data.

USA Today reports there have been at least 28 school shootings in 2021.

In addition, the incident is the 651st incident in 2021 in which at least four people were shot, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

—Darcie Moran, Kristi Tanner

Show more

How can I help?

Those with information on the suspect or what happened are asked to call police at 248-858-4911.

More: Fundraisers for donations, T-shirts for sale

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, at a late-night news conference, also called for community support.

"People have asked what can they do. Reach out to anyone you know in the Oxford area, in the Lake Orion area. Just show that basic human compassion by reaching out. People need to hear from others right now."

—Darcie Moran

Editor Khalil AlHajal and staff writers Frank Witsil, Kristi Tanner, Lily Altavena, David Jesse and Todd Spangler contributed to this report.

Darcie Moran is a breaking news reporter and podcaster for the Detroit Free Press. She's served as an investigative reporter and covered justice issues, crime, protests, wildfires and government affairs. Contact Moran: Twitter: @darciegmoran.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Oxford High School shooting in Michigan: The latest updates