OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – A 16-year-old boy from the United Kingdom was arrested after he pretended to be the suspected Oxford High School shooter while calling in threats to several Oakland County schools, police said.
The suspect made the threats on April 8 and was arrested on April 13 in the United Kingdom, according to authorities.
Officials say Homeland Security is working with United Kingdom’s law enforcement to determine possible charges. Currently, the teenager is with his parents while the investigation continues.
The Oakland Sheriff’s Office, Bloomfield Hills Department of Public Safety and 13 other agencies nationwide were involved in this case.
Oakland County deputies state the threats made were believed to have area codes from Florida and New York State.
Oxford High School threats
Officials said the suspect pretended to be Ethan Crumbley when he made his initial calls to Oxford High School and Brandon High School. Officials say that the suspect claimed to be Crumbley while using a British accent and told an official at Oxford High School that he was depressed and was going to “shoot up the school” and “finish” the job he started.
Crumbley is accused of killing four students and injuring seven other people in the Nov. 30 shooting. Officials said the caller used a fake British accent and made threats to shoot students.
In a second call, the teen had a fake Indian accent and also threatened to shoot students in the school, authorities said. When asked for his location, the caller said they were in the school. Police said juveniles could be heard laughing in the background.
The school official said law enforcement had been contacted and the call ended. A third call was answered by a sheriff’s school resource deputy, and the caller threatened to come and slap the deputy if anyone hung up on him. Officials said juveniles could be heard laughing in the background.
After the calls were made to Oxford High School, extra patrol was assigned to ensure the safety of the students. During the investigation of the calls directed toward Oxford High School, detectives learned that three other schools had fallen victim to similar harassing calls from the potential suspect.
Brandon High School threat
When the suspect called Brandon High School, he claimed that there was a man in a black pickup truck parked in the school’s parking lot with an AR-15, and that the man was going to shoot up the school, according to authorities. Officials say detectives called the number back to try to identify the caller, and the 16-year-old answered and claimed to be Crumbley. The caller refused to tell detectives his location when asked, they said.
“Any threats are taken very seriously, whether they intended to complete the act or not,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “Every applicable charge will be sought to bring these perpetrators to justice. This is not a joke.”
Lake Orion and Cranbrook threats
Officials say the UK teenager threatened both Cranbrook and Lake Orion High School. Detectives confirmed that the same phone number was used to threaten both schools. Police have not provided more information on those threats at this time.
“As I said at the time, we were going to be aggressive to hold perpetrators accountable,” Bouchard said. “In conjunction with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and police officials from the United Kingdom, that has in fact occurred and a suspect has been arrested. Let this serve as a message to anyone who would threaten our schools or any other institution in Oakland County. We will come for you.”