Oakland County deputies were called to Oxford High School at 12:51 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 30) on reports of gunfire. Within five minutes, deputies had taken the suspected shooter into custody, they said.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced charges at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Ethan Robert Crumbley is charged with 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 the commission of a felony.
He is being charged as an adult, authorities said.
“Charging this person as an adult is necessary to achieve justice and protect the public,” McDonald said. “Any other option would put all of us at risk of this person because they could be released and still a threat.”
She said there is evidence that show this shooting was “not just an impulsive act.”
“I am absolutely sure, after reviewing the evidence, that it isn’t even a close call -- it was absolutely premeditated,” McDonald said.
“There is a mountain of digital evidence: video tape, social media -- all digital evidence possible, and we have reviewed it. Absolutely, we are confident that we can show it was premeditation.”
She said there’s evidence that planning happened “well before the incident.”
“Today is only the beginning,” McDonald said. “It’s possible there could be additional charges issued very soon when that investigation is reviewed and complete.”
Crumbley will be arraigned Wednesday afternoon.
McDonald also said prosecutors are considering charges against both of Crumbley’s parents, and a decision is expected swiftly.
“It’s difficult, very difficult,” McDonald said. “This is unspeakable. We send our kids to school. We think that they’re going to be safe. The only thing that I can do as the prosecutor is ensure that I do everything that I can to prosecute this case and pursue justice for these victims.”
“I fully support the charges brought today by Prosecutor Karen McDonald,” Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter said in a statement. “The safety of our county requires the most serious response and I hope the beginning of this legal process offers the families of the victims and the school community some small measure of comfort.”
Four students were killed and seven other people were injured in the shooting.
- A 17-year-old girl remains in critical condition with a gunshot wound to her chest. She is at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac.
- A 14-year-old girl has improved from critical condition to stable with a gunshot wound to the left chest and neck. She is at Hurley Medical Center in Flint.
- A 17-year-old girl is stable with a gunshot wound to the neck at McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac.
- A 14-year-old boy was discharged Wednesday afternoon from McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac.
- A 15-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to his left leg was discharged Tuesday.
- A 17-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to his hip was discharged Tuesday.
- The 47-year-old teacher with a gunshot wound to her left shoulder was discharged Tuesday from McLaren Lapeer Hospital.
On Wednesday morning, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said two students were in critical condition, and one, a girl, was in “extremely critical” condition. This was before police confirmed the fourth student had died.
Bouchard said the 15-year-old suspect was at school that day. Surveillance cameras showed him coming out of a bathroom with what police are calling a 9 mm Sig Sauer SP2022 pistol.
The boy started firing shots while in a hallway, at close range to his victims, according to authorities.
“He was working his way up and down hallways,” Bouchard said.
Preliminary investigation found that all the shots were fired from the hallway, he said.
“In the hallway, and sometimes into classrooms,” Bouchard said.
Bouchard said the suspected shooter pulled on doors and tried to breach classrooms while other students were sheltering inside. He did this while walking up and down more than one hallway, according to the sheriff.
“We know by witnesses he was tugging on doors and we know from physical evidence that he shot through doors,” Bouchard said.
Police said they found significantly more than 12 shell casings. A final number will be revealed Wednesday afternoon.