Oxford High School shooting leaves 4 dead, multiple injured: Everything we know

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  • Mike Bouchard
    American politician

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.

A suspect was taken into custody at the scene.

Here is what we know so far.

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

More: Sheriff: School shooting suspect used gun dad bought on Black Friday

The suspect had video, writing that talked about killing classmates

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

More: Authorities: Oxford school shooting suspect talked in video about killing students before rampage

School officials met with the suspect's parents the day of the shooting

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.

More: Oxford school officials met with suspect day before, day of shooting to discuss behavior

Prosecutors say the 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.

Shooting at Oxford High School
Shooting at Oxford High School

An artist, an honors student were among those killed

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.

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.

Six students and a teacher were injured

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 femaleteacher 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.

An ambulance leaves the scene along N. Oxford Road following an active shooter situation at Oxford High School in Oxford on November 30, 2021. Police took a suspected shooter into custody and there were multiple victims, the Oakland County Sheriff's office said.
An ambulance leaves the scene along N. Oxford Road following an active shooter situation at Oxford High School in Oxford on November 30, 2021. Police took a suspected shooter into custody and there were multiple victims, the Oakland County Sheriff's office said.

Everything 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.

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.

Community members pray during a vigil at the Lake Point Community Church following the shooting at Oxford High School in Oxford on November 30, 2021.
Community members pray during a vigil at the Lake Point Community Church following the shooting at Oxford High School in Oxford on November 30, 2021.

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.

More: 4 dead, multiple injured in Oxford High School shooting; suspect is 15-year-old student

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.

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.

He's being charged with terrorism

The accused teen 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.

The Oxford High suspect is being charged as an adult

McDonald cited these reasons:

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

  2. The evidence shows the shooting was no impulsive act.

  3. "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.

The suspect 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.

Prosecutors are weighing charging the suspect's parents

"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.

His motive isn't yet publicly known

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

The suspect's father bought 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.

Various Michigan State Police and other police cars were still lined up at the Meijer's parking lot in Oxford where many students earlier had gathered following an active shooter situation at Oxford High School in Oxford on November 30, 2021. Police took a suspected shooter into custody and there were multiple victims, the Oakland County Sheriff's office said.
Various Michigan State Police and other police cars were still lined up at the Meijer's parking lot in Oxford where many students earlier had gathered following an active shooter situation at Oxford High School in Oxford on November 30, 2021. Police took a suspected shooter into custody and there were multiple victims, the Oakland County Sheriff's office said.

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.

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Police know how the gun got in

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.

Oxford High School is in metro Detroit

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.

President Biden has addressed the 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."

So did Michigan leaders

"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."

It's 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.

Show more

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.

Officials are seeking help

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

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."

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: dmoran@freepress.com. Twitter: @darciegmoran.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Oxford High School shooting leaves 4 dead: What we know

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