Michigan: Teenager charged over high school shooting that left four dead

Ethan Crumbley is charged as an adult with one count of terrorism causing death, four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of assault with intent to murder

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A 15-year-old boy has been charged with murder, terrorism and other counts for a shooting that killed four fellow students and injured others at a Michigan high school.

Charges against Ethan Crumbley were announced on Wednesday, a few hours after authorities reported the death of a fourth teenager from Oxford High School in south-eastern Michigan.

Crumbley is charged as an adult with one count of terrorism causing death, four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of assault with intent to murder.

Prosecutor Karen McDonald did not reveal a possible motive for the shooting on Tuesday in a community of about 22,000 people roughly 30 miles north of Detroit.

She said prosecutors are “confident” they can show the crime was premeditated, adding: “There is a mountain of digital evidence. Videotape, social media, all digital evidence possible.”

Officers rushed to the school around lunchtime on Tuesday and arrested the suspect in a hallway within minutes. He put his hands in the air as they approached, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said at a news conference.

The boy’s father on Friday bought the 9mm Sig Sauer used in the shooting, Mr Bouchard said. He did not know why the man bought the semi-automatic handgun, which his son had been posting pictures of and practising shooting, the sheriff added.

The four students who were killed were identified as 16-year-old Tate Myre, 14-year-old Hana St Juliana, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin and 17-year-old Justin Shilling, who died on Wednesday.

Mr Bouchard said Tate died in a patrol car as an officer tried to get him to an emergency room.

A teacher who received a graze wound to the shoulder left hospital, but seven students ranging in age from 14 to 17 remained in hospital through the night with gunshot wounds, he said.

The gun the boy was carrying had seven more rounds of ammo in it when he surrendered, Mr Bouchard added.

Undersheriff Mike McCabe said the student’s parents had advised their son not to talk to investigators. Police must seek permission from a juvenile’s parents or guardian to speak with them, he added.

After the attack, authorities learned of social media posts about threats of a shooting at the roughly 1,700-student school.

Mr McCabe downplayed the significance of a situation in early November when a deer’s head was thrown off the school roof, which he said was “absolutely unrelated” to the shooting.

The incident prompted school administrators to post two letters to parents on the school’s website, saying they were responding to rumours of a threat against the school but had found none.

Mr Bouchard said Crumbley had had no previous run-ins with his department, and he was not aware of any disciplinary history at school.

“That’s part of our investigation to determine what happened prior to this event and if some signs were missed, how were they missed and why,” he said.

The district said in a statement that all schools would be closed for the rest of the week.

Isabel Flores, a 15-year-old ninth grader, told Detroit television station WJBK that she and other students heard gunshots and saw another student bleeding from the face. They then ran from the area through the rear of the school, she said.