15-year-old school shooting suspect charged as an adult

Ethan Crumbley, 15, of Oxford, Michigan. [Image credit: Oakland County Sheriff's Office]

Oxford, Michigan: Prosecutors announced yesterday afternoon that 15-year-old Ethan Crumbly has been charged as an adult for the November 30 school shooting that took place at Oxford High School which resulted in the deaths of four students and seven others, including a teacher, being injured.


Crumbly has been 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. More charges are possible as the investigation proceeds.


Crumbly has entered a plea of not-guilty and has been transported from the juvenile facility he was being held at to the county's adult jail where he will be held in seclusion under suicide watch.


"This isn't even a close call," Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said when announcing the charges. "This was absolutely premeditated." She said evidence had been recovered showing that Crumbly had been planning the shooting "well before the incident" took place. "This was not an impulsive act."


"There is a mountain of digital evidence," McDonald said. "We are confident that we can show there was premeditation."


Crumbly's parents were present during the video arraignment when Oakland County Sheriff's Lt. Tim Willis told Judge Nancy Carniak that a search warrant had revealed "two separate videos" on Crumbly's cell phone "made by him the night before the incident, wherein he talked about shooting and killing the students the next day at Oxford High School."


Willis also told Judge Carniak that a journal had been found in Crumbly's backpack "detailing his desire to shoot up the school, to include murdering students."


McDonald additionally disclosed that there was a piece of evidence that she was not able to disclose to the public at this time. "But I can assure you it was troubling. It was disturbing and unfortunately he was allowed to go back to class."


That piece of evidence was evidently revealed to Crumbly's parents at a meeting that took place with school staff the morning of the school shooting.


Crumbly had been called into meetings with school officials concerning classroom behavior that was "concerning" both the day before, and the day of the shooting.


While saying this should serve as a "wake-up call" in a country that has become "desensitized to school shootings" for new gun laws, McDonald said, "We are considering charges against both parents and we will be making a decision swiftly."


"Owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate," she continued.


Undersheriff Mike McCabe discussed an event that took place at the school in November at which time a deer head was thrown from the school roof. That incident he said was "absolutely unrelated" to the shooting.


A motive for the shooting has still not been discovered, and Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard stated that his investigators have not recovered any record of bullying.


Despite Bouchard saying that they had not found any previous contact between Crumbly and law enforcement, Crumbly's attorney, Nadine Hatten reportedly told Judge Karniak that she had previously represented Crumbly on an undisclosed "juvenile matter."


Crumbly's older brother, Eli Crumbly, spoke exclusively with the Daily Mail saying, "The Ethan I knew was just a smart boy who just seemed like an average kid. There was nothing that even stood out to me, He'd never get suspended from school or detention."


"He didn't suffer depression or anything like that," Eli continued. "As far as I knew, Ethan was always good. He was just quiet, kept to himself, kept his circle of friends small. He was a clean kid, didn't smoke or do drugs, nothing. And he got good grades."