(Trends Wide) — Zander Cumbey had walked into his high school classroom when he heard screaming outside in the hallway.
The screams were the product of a gunshot, he said.
“My teacher walked into the classroom, locked the door and told us to call 911. And then we heard the rest of the shots, more screaming,” Cumbey told Trends Wide.
Authorities say at least 30 shots were fired, killing four students and wounding six other teenagers along with a teacher before the suspected shooter – an Oxford high school student – was apprehended by police with rounds still at hand. his gun.
This was the deadliest school shooting on a K-12 campus in the US since May 2018, forever scarring the Oxford community in the Detroit suburbs.
The four students who died were 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin; Tate Myre, 16 years old; Hana St. Juliana, 14 years old; and Justin Shilling, 17, authorities said.
While the bursts of gunfire lasted only a few minutes, authorities said there is substantial evidence that it was a premeditated attack by the accused attacker, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley.
“A preliminary review of the defendant’s social media accounts, his cell phone, as well as other documented evidence recovered at the scene showed that this defendant planned this shooting, deliberately bringing the gun that day with the intention of murdering as many students as he could. “said prosecutor Marc Keast during Crumbley’s arraignment on Wednesday.
The high school sophomore faces a series of charges as an adult, including first degree murder, terrorism and other charges. In court Wednesday, his attorney, Scott Kozak, asked to plead not guilty during the ceremony, saying “my client is silent.”
“It has been a devastating week for us,” Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said at a news conference. “There are other individuals who contributed … and it is my intention to hold them accountable as well.”
His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were charged Friday with four counts of manslaughter for their alleged role in the deadly shooting. After failing to appear for arraignment, they were arrested in Detroit.
The weekend before the shooting
James Crumbley bought the gun that authorities believe was used in the Nov. 26 shooting at an Oxford store with his son, according to Karen McDonald, the Oakland County prosecutor leading the case.
Almost the same day, the alleged shooter posted a photo of a handgun on an Instagram account with the caption: “I just got my new beauty today. SIG SAUER 9mm” with a heart-eye emoji, McDonald said at a conference by press on Friday.
Jennifer Crumbley also posted about the gun on social media over the weekend, saying, “Mom and son trying out their new Christmas present,” McDonald said.
And over the weekend, Jennifer Crumbley took her son to a shooting range, the police source told Trends Wide.
The red flags before the shooting
Returning to classes after Thanksgiving break, a teacher spotted Ethan Crumbley searching his cell phone for “ammunition” during class the day before the shooting and reported it to school authorities.
Jennifer Crumbley was contacted by the school but reached voicemail. Officials also sent an email but received no response from either parent, McDonald said.
Jennifer Crumbley exchanged text messages about the incident with her son that day, saying, I quote: ‘LOL [risas], I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught. ‘ End of quote, “McDonald said.
In two videos recorded that night on Crumbley’s phone, the teen talked about shooting and killing students in high school, said Lt. Tim Willis of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.
Other evidence is a diary found in Crumbley’s backpack detailing his “desire to shoot the school to include the murder of students,” Willis said at the arraignment.
On Tuesday morning, another teacher found a drawing on Ethan Crumbley’s desk that essentially showed a shooting, McDonald said. It alarmed her so much that she took a photo of him on her phone, the prosecutor said.
The illustration featured a “semiautomatic pistol pointed at the words’ thoughts won’t stop me, help me” and included a drawing of a bullet with the words’ blood all over it ‘written above it, he said. The words “my life is useless” and “the world is dead” were also written on the drawing.
“Between the picture of the gun and the bullet is a picture of a person who appears to have been shot twice and bleeding. Below that picture is a picture of a laughing emoji,” McDonald said.
The harrowing image prompted school authorities to meet with the alleged shooter and his parents who were told they must take their son to therapy within 48 hours, McDonald said. Neither parent asked their son to show them the gun or “inspected his backpack for the presence of the gun, which he carried with him,” according to McDonald.
Parents resisted the idea of removing their son from school, McDonald said, and he was allowed to return to the classroom.
“That morning, looking at that drawing, it’s impossible not to conclude that there was reason to believe that he was going to hurt someone,” he said.
The district’s school superintendent said Thursday that no discipline was needed against Crumbley after that meeting.
“He was, you know, called the office and all that sort of thing,” Tim Throne said in a video statement. “No sanction was guaranteed. There are no records of sanctions in high school.”
Video footage shows how the shooting started, prosecutors say
After Ethan Crumbley was allowed to return to class, video surveillance from school cameras shows what happened next, according to authorities.
Before 12:51 p.m., Crumbley could be seen with a backpack, then a minute or two later, he emerged from the bathroom without the backpack but with a gun in hand, Prosecutor Keast said at the arraignment Wednesday. .
Then Crumbley began walking “methodically and deliberately” through the hallways, pointing a gun at the students and firing the gun, Keast said. When the students fled, the defendant continued to move down the hall at a “methodical pace” and fired inside classrooms and at students who had not escaped, he said.
“What is shown in that video, honestly judge, I do not have the words to describe how horrible it was,” he said.
This continued for another four to five minutes, and he went to another bathroom, Keast said.
The alleged shooter was arrested two to three minutes after the officers arrived, Bouchard said.
“I think they literally saved lives, having shot the suspect with a loaded firearm still in the building,” the sheriff said.
Around 1:15 p.m., news reports emerged of a high school shooting.
At 1:22 pm, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, “Ethan don’t do it,” according to prosecutors.
And at 1:37 p.m., prosecutors say, James Crumbley called 911 to report that a gun was missing from his home and that he believed his son could be the shooter.
The school looks like a “war zone,” says the superintendent
Two days after the deadly attack, Oxford High School looks “like a war zone,” Throne told his community from the school in the 13-minute video posted on YouTube.
“This school is in shambles right now,” he said, adding that repairs could take weeks.
Throne praised the students and staff for the way they handled the threat of an active attacker, during which some administrators performed CPR and students used desks and chairs to barricade themselves inside classrooms for protection.
More than 100 calls were made to 911 to report the shooting as police arrived at the school at 12:52 p.m. local time, Bouchard said. Within “two or three minutes” of the arrival of the officers, the attacker had surrendered.
“I think they literally saved lives by shooting down a suspect who had a loaded firearm still in the building,” the sheriff said.
– Jay Croft, Mark Morales, Sonia Moghe, Carolyn Sung, Sahar Akbarzai, Taylor Romine, Shimon Prokupecz, Kristina Sgueglia and Adrienne Broaddus contributed to this report.