Shooting Occurs at Oxford High School in Michigan


Courtesy of Detroit Free Press, Eric Seals

Parents reunite with students. 

Isabella Balian

On Tuesday, November 30th, a 15-year old student at Oxford High School in Michigan killed four of his fellow students and injured many others with a handgun. 

According to Education Week, this shooting now qualifies as one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings in three years. Suspect Ethan Crumbley is being charged on counts of terrorism, first degree murder, assault and posession of a firearm. 

Officials report that this shooting was premeditated and had many factors leading up to it. 

According to authorities, deputies were called to the school around 12:52 p.m., reporting that more than 100 people called 911. Surveillance footage showed that Crumbley had gone into the bathroom with a backpack and returned with a gun. 

While hearing gunshots, Oxford High School students barricaded the doors to prevent being approached by the shooter. Student Dale Schmalenberg said that he “was just kind of sitting there shaking” and “didn’t really know how to respond.” 

Authorities reported that after just five minutes, 11 people had been shot. 

Crumbley shot students with a 9mm Sig Sauer SP2022 handgun that his father had bought a few days before the shooting. Investigators recovered more than 30 shell casings and estimated that he fired at least 30 shots. 

When the police approached Crumbley, he put his hands up and he supported his right not to speak to investigators and get a lawyer. Crumbley was taken to Oakland County’s Children Village and was put under suicide watch. He is being charged as an adult due to the premeditation of the event and the seriousness of the crime. 

Teachers reported observing questionable behavior from Crumbley a few days leading up to the shooting. A few hours prior to the shooting, Crumbley’s parents met with school officials regarding their son’s classroom behavior. 

In addition to Crumbley’s disturbing classroom behavior, law enforcement authorities uncovered video footage and a journal that accounts to his premeditated intentions. Crumbley’s journal detailed that he had a desire to “shoot up” the school, and the videos he made indicated his intention to kill Oxford students. 

“This defendant planned the shooting,” Marc Keast, an Oakland County prosecutor told a judge. “He deliberately brought the handgun that day with the intent to murder as many students as he could.” 

Student’s parents reported their children requesting to stay home from school that day, as rumblings of something might happen, and because of rumors on social media. 

Despite investigators’ efforts to find a motive, Sheriff Michael Bouchard told reporters that the victims “appeared random.” 

Victims of the shooting that died included Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Myre, Justin Shilling and Hana St. Juliana. In addition, more students remain in the hospital injured along with a 47-year old teacher. 

The 4 students that were killed were known as kind-hearted people in the community, and will be greatly missed. After winning an award from the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association and being an admired football player, students wanted to rename the school’s stadium after victim Tate Myre. 

Many politicians made statements regarding this tragic event in Michigan. 

“My heart goes out to the families that are enduring the unimaginable grief of losing a loved one,” President Joe Biden said.

 Similarly, leaders of Michigan expressed their condolences and concerns. Governor Gretchen Whitmer said that the event was an “unimaginable tragedy” and was “every parent’s worst nightmare.”

 This recent shooting prompts continuous questions about changing gun laws to prevent other fatal shootings. An elected Democrat, Karen D. McDonald said that she hoped these recent events would prompt changes in Michigan’s gun laws.