On November 30th, a terrible tragedy occurred at Oxford High School in Detroit, Michigan, that left four students dead and several more injured. At around 12:50pm that day, a 15-year-old sophomore named Ethan Crumbley allegedly entered one of the school bathrooms and later exited possessing a handgun. Then, as students were moving to their next classes, Ethan opened fire. Teachers and other staff reacted quickly, barricading doors, making announcements, and helping students escape when possible. Police responded to the 911 calls immediately, after which they managed to locate Ethan and arrest him unharmed, discovering multiple rounds of ammunition on his person and even more hidden in the bathroom.
Prior to the shooting, the suspect had shown multiple signs of odd behavior, which were unfortunately never taken as a serious threat. Ethan had been caught by a teacher searching for ammunition on his phone and, although he was reported, Ethan claimed it was because he had recently gone to a shooting range with his parents. Later, another staff member saw a violent and gruesome image drawn in Ethan’s journal that seemed to hint at and was later seen to resemble the shooting. He was once again reported, but he scribbled over the image to obstruct its contents. However, he was ultimately never removed from school.
As of December 10th, the suspect is in custody—as are his parents. who investigators believe could be charged as well. The father of the shooter, James Crumbley, had purchased the weapon used in the shooting on Black Friday, with Ethan even posting photos of it online. When alerted that they were likely going to be charged, both James Crumbley and his wife Jennifer Crumbley went on the run until they were found by police on December 4th. They were promptly arrested; all three Crumbleys were held at Oakland County Jail and disallowed from seeing each other for an undetermined amount of time. While not all the charges against them are clear, they will all be tried as adults, including Ethan, which means their sentences will reflect the full severity of their crimes.
Many students and parents have expressed their discontent with the school for not addressing Ethan Crumbley’s suspicious behavior. On December 9th, multiple student survivors filed a $100 million dollar lawsuit against Oxford Community Schools for letting the shooting happen. Their community has held multiple prayer services to mourn the deaths of the four killed students and has also organized fundraisers in order to pay for damages, funerals, and other expenses for all those affected by this tragedy. The future of this case so far is uncertain, but hopefully, those affected will be able to recover and move forward.