On Tuesday, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of mass casualty shooting incident at Oxford High School in Oxford Township, Michigan, located about 40 miles north of Detroit. In this attack, 15-year-old sophomore Ethan Crumbley can be seen on surveillance video entering a school bathroom with a backpack, and then exiting about a minute later brandishing a handgun.
Immediately afterwards, prosecutors say Crumbley began firing at students. When they started to flee, Crumbley "methodically and deliberately" walked down the hallway and aimed his gun into classrooms and at students who were unable to escape.
According to students reports, a voice over the intercom alerted them to an active shooter, and their teachers started locking and barricading doors and covering windows, convincing them it was not a drill.
Crumbley surrendered without struggle to a deputy assigned as a school resource officer and a second deputy who responded to the scene. He allegedly still had seven rounds of ammunition remaining in is 9mm Sig Sauer pistol and two 15-round magazines when he was stopped by authorities. At least one other empty magazine was recovered from the school.
The entire shooting incident lasted about five minutes. Four students were killed and seven others injured, including a teacher.
Police say there was no indication that Crumbley had faced any disciplinary issues, though he is reported to have met with school officials the day prior to the shooting, and again early on the day of the shooting, to discuss his behavior.
The first meeting occurred after a teacher spotted Crumbley using his phone to search for ammunition sales. School officials left a voicemail and email for Crumbley's mother who did not respond. She did though contact he son via SMS message, saying, "LOL I'm not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught."
The second meeting occurred after another teacher found a violent drawing on Crumbley's desk. Crumbley's parents were summoned to the school and instructed to seek counseling for their son within 48 hours. Crumbley's parents "resisted the idea" of him leaving the school at the time, and he was returned to class. The shooting took place just hours later.
According to Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard, the suspect's father, James Crumbley, had purchased the gun from a local shop on Black Friday, four days prior to the shooting. The suspect's mother is reported to have referred to the gun as her son's "new Christmas present" in a social media post.
On Friday, both parents were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, in what was reported to be a rare instance of parents being charged in relation to a school shooting.
At Ethan Crumbley’s arraignment, Oakland County Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Willis told the judge that a search of the boy’s home turned up “two separate videos recovered from Ethan’s cellphone made by him the night before the incident, wherein he talked about shooting and killing students the next day at Oxford High School.”
The court was also told that a journal was recovered from Ethan’s backpack, “detailing his desire to shoot up the school, to include murdering students.”
Crumbley was arraigned by a magistrate on homicide and attempted homicide charges shortly after he was arrested. On December 1st, he was charged with 1 count of terrorism causing death, 4 counts of first-degree murder, 7 counts of assault with intent to murder, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
According to the Associated Press, this appears to be the first time in U.S. history where a terrorism charge was filed in relation to a gunfire incident on school grounds.
Readers are reminded that following each school shooting, invariably there are threats of copy-cat attacks that pop up on social media and a variety of chat forums. Such was the case with this incident. In fact, there were so many threats made that classes were canceled for the remainder of the week across dozens of school districts in the region.
AlertsUSA continues to monitor the domestic and international threat environment around the clock and will immediately notify service subscribers, via SMS messages to their mobile devices, of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.