A Third will investigate events at Oxford High School that preceded a school shooting that killed four students and injured six other students and a teacher, the Michigan District superintendent said.
Oxford Community Schools principal Tim Throne said in a statement he called for an outside investigation because parents asked questions about “the school’s version of the events leading up to the shootings”. He also discussed the interactions with the student prior to filming.
“It is critical to the victims, our employees and our entire community that billing is complete and transparent,” said Throne.
His comments came after a news conference on Friday from Oakland County Attorney Karen McDonald, and included numerous warning signs from the accused student: his search for gun ammunition on a cell phone and a drawing that showed a bullet at the top with the words “blood everywhere” on a person which appears to have been shot along with “My life is useless” and “The world is dead”.
“Of course he shouldn’t have come back to this classroom. … I think this is a universal position. I’m not going to chastise or attack, but yes, ”said McDonald. When asked if there might be charges against school officials, she said, “The investigation is ongoing.”
On Tuesday, the student was sent back to the classroom at school, about 50 kilometers north of Detroit, after a school meeting with his parents. The shooting occurred three hours later.
“The school should have been responsible for reporting this to the sheriff’s office. It looks like this could have been prevented, “said Robert Jordan, founder and director of Protecting Our Students in St. Louis, on Friday. “People died from these mistakes.”
Alongside Jordan, parents of high school students who were killed in a school shooting in Florida in 2018 say police should have been alerted prior to the rampage on Tuesday.
On Twitter, Attorney General Dana Nessel said Sunday that her office reached out to the school to investigate the shooting and events in advance and said, “Our lawyers and special agents are uniquely qualified to conduct an investigation of this magnitude.”
The 9mm semi-automatic pistol used in the shootings was bought by James Crumbley on Black Friday as an early Christmas present for his son at a local gun store, authorities said.
School officials were concerned about the younger Crumbley on Monday, the day before the shooting, when a teacher saw him looking for ammunition on his phone, McDonald told reporters.
On Tuesday, a teacher found a note on Ethan’s desk and took a picture. It was a drawing of a gun aimed at the words: “The thoughts will not stop. Help me, ”said McDonald.
There was also a drawing of a sphere, she said, with the words, “Blood everywhere.” Between the gun and the bullet was a person who was apparently shot twice and is bleeding, she said. “My life is useless” and “The world is dead” were also written.
Ethan Crumbley and his two parents met with school officials at 10 a.m. Tuesday. His parents left and Ethan went back to his classroom with his backpack, where investigators believe he had hidden the gun. Authorities were not notified, something County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said he wished it had been done.
At 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, the school erupted in gunfire, chaos and bloodshed.
“The school had a responsibility to conduct an immediate threat assessment of the student and to include the sworn police officer and law enforcement in this conversation,” said Lori Alhadeff, whose 14-year-old daughter Alyssa was one of 17 students killed in 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland , Florida.
About five weeks before the Stoneman Douglas shooting, an FBI guess line received a call stating that former student Nikolas Cruz had bought guns and was planning to “slip into a school and start shooting the place.”
This information was never passed on to the FBI. Cruz, who had been expelled from school a year earlier and had a long history of emotional and behavioral problems, was never contacted.Cruz, now 23, pleaded guilty to 17 first-degree murder cases in October.
“We have to take these threats seriously,” said Alhadeff.
But when you look at such a topic in hindsight, it raises other questions, said Christopher Smith, professor of law and public order at Michigan State University and chairman of the Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.
One must consider whether the “teachers and school officials specifically in their training have to report all these things,” said Smith.
In a video message to the community on Thursday evening, Throne confirmed the meeting of Crumbley, the parents and school officials. Throne did not provide details but said that “no disciplinary action was warranted”.
In his statement on Saturday, Throne referred to the events of Tuesday morning and said the student had been taken to the career counselor’s office where he claimed the drawing was part of a video game he was developing and that he planned to pursue video game design as a career. He worked on his homework while he waited for his parents while the counselors watched him.
“At no point did the counselors believe that the student’s behavior, reactions, and demeanor, which appeared calm, could harm others,” said Throne.
“While both of his parents were present, the counselors asked specific exploratory questions about the potential for harming self or harming others,” Throne said, adding that counseling was recommended and his parents were told they had 48 hours to spare to look for them. “When the parents were asked to take their son home for the day, they flatly refused and left without their son, apparently to return to work.”
He said the student had no previous disciplinary violations and was allowed to return to the classroom instead of being “sent home to an empty house.”
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in any way without permission.