An outside party will investigate events leading up to the deadliest school-related shooting in three years as questions continue to swirl throughout the devastated Oxford, Michigan, community.  

Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne said he called for the third-party probe because parents have raised questions about “the school’s version of events” regarding the Tuesday shooting, which left four students dead and six other students and a teacher wounded.   

“It’s critically important to the victims, our staff and our entire community that a full and transparent accounting be made,” Throne said in a statement Saturday.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Sunday indicated she has offered her department’s services to conduct an independent investigation. Nessel posted that she had reached out to Nessel, the Michigan Attorney General. She offered her services to do a thorough and complete review of the shooting on 11/30/21 and all the preceding events.

Concerns over warning signs that preceded the tragedy have ratcheted up in recent days. 

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald gave a litany of red flags Friday about the student charged in the shooting, including a cellphone search for gun ammunition observed by a teacher the day before the incident and a note found on the suspect’s desk hours before the shooting that showed a drawing of a bullet with the words “blood everywhere” near a person who appeared to have been gunned down.   

Ethan Crumbley, 15 – who is now charged as an adult with murder, terrorism and other crimes – was taken to the guidance counselor’s office where he claimed the drawing was part of a video game he was designing, Throne said. Crumbley, 15, said that he did his homework in the company of counselors. He was there until his parents came. 

“At no time did counselors believe the student might harm others based on his behavior, responses and demeanor, which appeared calm,” Throne said.

“While both of his parents were present, counselors asked specific probing questions regarding the potential for self-harm or harm to others,” Throne said, adding counseling was recommended for him, and his parents were notified that they had 48 hours to seek it. “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.”

All three in cusotdyJames and Jennifer Crumbley take custody of their son after he was taken in Detroit late at night.

Crumbley took his backpack with him to class, but authorities were not alerted. A few hours later, the gunfire erupted.  

“The school should have been responsible to relay that to the sheriff’s office. It looks like this could have been prevented,” Robert Jordan, founder and director of St. Louis-based Protecting Our Students, said Friday. “People died because of those mistakes.”

James Crumbley’s parents were charged Friday with four counts of each involuntary killing.

The 9mm semi-automatic pistol used in the shooting was bought at a local gun shop on Black Friday by James Crumbley as a Christmas present for his son, authorities said.

Manhunt results in parents being arrested; 3 of them are held together

The parents were arraigned Saturday just hours after a dramatic manhunt by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Officials have said the couple took $4,000 out of an ATM in Rochester Hills and ended up in Detroit, where police found them in an art studio inside a commercial building on the city’s east side.

James and Jennifer Crumbley – 45 and 43, respectively – appeared in court by video later that morning. Jennifer Crumbley broke down when asked whether she understood the charges against her and James Crumbley shook his head multiple times as McDonald spoke.

“These two individuals could have stopped it and they had every reason to know that he was dangerous and they gave him a weapon and they didn’t secure it and they allowed him free access to it,” McDonald said during Saturday’s hearing.

The couple’s son is accused of killing four students – Hana St. Juliana, 14; Tate Myre, 16; Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17 – and injuring seven others.

Mariell Lehman and Shannon Smith, both the lawyers for the couple accused prosecutors, of cherry-picking evidence in their case. They claimed there are more happening than is being reported by the court.

At 1M, the bond of parents:After overnight arrest, bond set at $1 million to parents of Michigan school shooter suspect

Both parents were not found guilty. 

Judge Julie Nicholson set bond for each at $500,000 cash – substantially more than the $50,000 to $100,000 the couple’s attorneys requested, but the amount prosecutors sought. Up to 15 years imprisonment can be imposed for voluntary manslaughter.

The three Crumbleys share a jail cell, however they cannot have contact with one another. “No talking. “No communication,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard stated. They are three separate.”

A former neighbor remembers the past 

The Free Press was informed Tuesday by a former neighbor that she worried about her children’s parenting.

Kayla LeMieux, an ex-neighbor, said Jennifer Crumbley and James Crumbley were known to leave their child home when they went out drinking in downtown Lake Orion bars. The boy would have been between 8 and 9 years old at that time.

The couple, who records show married in 2005, lived near downtown Lake Orion before moving to Oxford.

It was so concerning to LeMieux, 28, that she said she made an anonymous phone complaint to the state’s Children’s Protective Services.

“Intent to Kill”: Timeline of deadly shooting at Oxford High School

“When they were gone, he would come knock on our door,” LeMieux said of the boy. “They didn’t leave him with a phone.” The boy would ask LeMieux to call his parents, she said.

LeMieux said she never knew whether any action was taken after the complaint with Children’s Protective Services. State officials said Saturday they couldn’t comment.

“CPS complaints are confidential by law,” Bob Wheaton, a spokesman with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, wrote in an email.

Contributing: The Associated Press



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