OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Michigan (AP) – A 15-year-old boy was charged Wednesday with murder, terrorism and other crimes for the shooting that killed four fellow students and injured others at a Michigan high school.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen MacDonald did not disclose a possible motive for Tuesday’s violence at Oxford High School and declined to comment when pressed on whether she believed victims were specifically targeted. But she said the shooting was premeditated, and was based in part on a “mountain of digital evidence” collected by police.
Ethan Crumble is accused of shooting a semi-automatic handgun in a school hallway, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit. At least seven other people were injured.
Karmbli was charged with premeditated murder, attempted murder and terrorism causing death. It was not immediately known if he had a lawyer who could comment.
MacDonald told reporters the shooting should be a wake-up call to new gun laws in a country that has become “insensitive to school shootings”.
“We have to do better,” MacDonald said, without introducing specific changes. “How often does this have to happen? How often?”
The charges were announced a few hours after investigators announced the death of a fourth student.
“And what about all the children running and screaming and hiding under desks? … These are victims too, as well as their families as well as society. The terrorism charge reflects this,” the attorney general said.
Representatives rushed to school at lunchtime on Tuesday and arrested Crumbly in the hallway within minutes of the shooting. His father bought a 9mm Sig Sauer pistol last week, according to the Oakland County Sheriff.
MacDonald strongly suggested that more fees would be raised.
“We are studying the charges against both parents and will make a quick decision,” she said.
“Having a gun means securing it properly, locking it and keeping the ammunition separate,” she said.
The four students killed were identified as 16-year-old Tate Mer, 14-year-old Hannah St. Juliana, 17-year-old Madison Baldwin and 17-year-old Justin Schilling.
After the attack, authorities learned of social media posts about threats to shoot a school of about 1,700 students. Al-Sharif stressed the importance of sending such advice to the authorities, while also warning against spreading rumors on social media before a full investigation is conducted.
Dean Mike McCabe played down the situation in early November when a deer’s head was thrown from the school’s rooftop, which he said had “absolutely nothing” to do with the shooting. The incident prompted school administrators to send two messages to parents on the school’s website, saying they were responding to rumors of a threat to the school but had not found any.
Sheriff Mike Bouchard said Crumbley had never had confrontations with his department, and was not aware of any disciplinary history at the school.
“This is part of our investigation to determine what happened prior to this event and whether some signs were missing, how and why they were missed,” he said.
Isabel Flores, a 15-year-old ninth grader, told Detroit television station WJBK that she and other students heard gunshots and saw another student bleeding from his face. Then they ran from the area through the back of the school, she said.
Robin Redding, a concerned mother, said her son, 12th grader Trishane Bryant, stayed home on Tuesday after hearing possible shooting threats.
“This can’t be random,” she said.
Bryant said he’s heard vague threats “for a long time now” about plans to shoot.
At a vigil Tuesday night at Lake Point Community Church, Lynne Dersa choked on tears as she hugged friends and neighbors. Dursa has lived for nearly all of her 73 years at Oxford. Her grandchildren attended high school.
“Something horrible scared us all. He taught a lesson about shootings.
Reverend Jesse Holt said news of the shooting poured into him and his wife, including text messages from about 20 to 25 students among the 400 members of the congregation.
“Some were very scared, hiding under their desks and texting us, ‘We’re safe, we’re fine.'” We heard gunshots, but we’re fine. They were trying to calm us down, at least that’s how I felt.”
Associated Press reporters Ryan Kriska, Mike Householder and David Aguilar in Oxford Township, Michigan; Kathleen Foday in Chicago; Josh Boak of Rosemount, Minnesota, contributed to this report. AP researcher Rhonda Schaffner in New York also contributed.
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