DETROIT — School districts across the metro area were closed Thursday due to threats of violence just two days after a 15-year-old gunman at Oxford High School killed four students and wounded seven others.

At least 14 school districts planned to close for at least one day. Bloomfield Hills Schools’ superintendent wrote Wednesday night, approximately 20 miles away from Oxford Township, that his district had received “numerous reports of violence threats circulating via social media.” 

The closures come a day after Ethan Crumbley appeared in court on first-degree murder and terrorism charges after police say he opened fire at Oxford High with the “intent to kill.” Crumbley, a sophomore student from Oxford High, pleaded guilty but was not granted bond. If convicted, Crumbley could be sentenced to life imprisonment

Marc Keast, assistant prosecutor, said that Crumbley was seen “methodically and purposefully” moving down a hall and shooting at students.

“What’s depicted on that video, honestly, judge, I don’t have the words to describe how horrific that was,” Keast said in court.

We know what you are thinking.

The ‘Intent To Kill’An interactive timeline showing the events that led to the shooting death at Oxford High School

Police: Suspect talked about killing students in cellphone video

Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Tim Willis said during the arraignment that videos were recovered from the suspect’s cellphone, including “a video made by him the night before the incident wherein he talked about shooting and killing students the next day at Oxford High School.” 

Willis said authorities also found the suspect’s journal “detailing his desire to shoot up a school to include murdering students.”

A review of Crumbley’s social media accounts and other documents show he planned the shooting and “brought the handgun that day with the intent to murder as many students as he could,” Keast said.

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Karen McDonald, Oakland County’s Prosecutor stated that there were “hundreds of digital evidence,” videotape and social media, and she is confident that premeditation was present to commit crimes “well before the actual incident.”

Crumbley, who was wearing dark green jail clothes and a mask, quietly sat at one table throughout the hearing. Over about 90 minutes, he stated his name and answered the judge’s questions briefly.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard stated that the 15-year old suspect had been flagged two times by school personnel for “concerning conduct” just before the attack. Both the first incident occurred the day prior to the shooting, and the second was just hours later. 

Bouchard stated that the suspect’s parents arrived at the school about 10:15 a.m. to meet with students and other school staff, three hours prior to the shooting. 

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What happened to the Oxford school shooter?

The victims were identified as Tate Myre (16), Madisyn Balb (17), Hana Saint Juliana (14) and Justin Shilling (17).

Myre is remembered for being a great football player who was recruited to college as an honor student.

Baldwin was an aspiring artist and a “smart, sweet loving girl,” her grandmother wrote on a GoFundMe.

St. Juliana “was one of the happiest and most joyful kids,” her father told McDonald. She was on the basketball and volleyball teams and loved learning how to cook, said Jennifer Curtis, who lived in her neighborhood.

Shilling participated in the golf and bowling team. He was “simply a pleasure to be around,” Anita’s Kitchen, a Middle Eastern restaurant where he worked, posted on Facebook.

Michigan school shooting victims remembered:Athletes, honor students and artists

From top left to right: Oxford High School students Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Tate Myre, 16, (bottom left to right) Justin Shilling, 17, and Hana St. Juliana, 14, were all killed by a fellow student during a school shooting on Tues., Nov. 30, 2021.

Why were the terrorists charged against him?

The suspect was 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 in the commission of a felony.

McDonald said the terrorism charge is in relation to the horrors inflicted upon the rest of the school’s community who weren’t direct victims but still faced trauma.

What about all those children running screaming from under their desks?” How about the many children who are unable to eat, sleep or can’t see a future where their school could be? McDonald’s said it.

McDonald’s acknowledged that it wasn’t a common, typical charge.

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Michigan’s 2002 antiterrorism statute defines terrorist acts as violent felonies “dangerous for human life” that are “intentional to intimidate or coerce civilian populations or influence the conduct or control of government units through intimidation and coercion.”

Matthew Schneider, a former federal prosecutor and the state’s former chief deputy attorney general, told the Associated Press the law was enacted months after the Sept. 11 terror attacks and typically has been applied to people making terroristic threats. However, he stated that it did not mean that shootings were inappropriate in the current case. He also said that they “fit the language” of the statute.

“This law is necessary. It’s for this type of case. This is not just a murder case,” he said. “It’s going to terrorize a generation of these kids who were in the school. It has an impact on many thousands.”

Gun-related charges could land the shooter’s parents in jail

McDonald indicated more charges could be coming soon for others, specifically saying they were reviewing charges against the suspect’s parents.

“We know that owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate and not allowing access to other individuals, particularly minors.

“We have to hold individuals accountable who don’t do that.”

Bouchard said the suspect’s father had purchased the 9mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 gun four days before the shooting.

Contributing: Phoebe Wall Howard, John Wisely, Clara Hendrickson, Jennifer Dixon, Georgea Kovanis and Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press

Source: USAToday.com

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