A 15-year-old student at Oxford High School in southeast Michigan is in police custody after he was suspected of engaging in a shooting spree at the school on Tuesday afternoon killing three students and injuring at least eight others.
According to the Washington Post, the victims who were killed in the shooting were 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 16-year-old Tate Myre and 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin. Authorities have yet to publicly name the shooter as he is a juvenile, and, according to Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe, he isn’t currently talking to investigators so no motive for the shooting has been revealed. But McCabe confirmed that he is in custody and that he’s on suicide watch.
As for the surviving victims, officials reported that they were also mostly students between the ages of 14 and 17, but at least one Oxford teacher sustained an injury to the left shoulder that “appears to be a grazing wound,” according to Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard.
Three students are currently in critical condition after sustaining gunshot wounds. Those students include a 14-year-old boy who was shot in the head and jaw as well as a 14-year-old girl who was shot in the neck and chest and is reportedly on a ventilator in a pediatric intensive care unit. Bouchard commented during a press conference that “It’s looking very tough for this young girl.”
Three other students—two boys and one girl—were injured in the shooting but are in stable condition.
Police said that the suspect fired 15 to 20 shots and police arrived within minutes after 911 dispatchers were flooded with more than 100 calls related to the shooting. McCabe said the shooter “did not give us any resistance as he was taken into custody.”
“Deputies confronted him, he had the weapon on him and deputies took him into custody,” McCabe said, according to the Detroit News. “The whole thing lasted five minutes.”
Now, here’s what we know about the suspect—or at least what we think we know.
What we know based on police reports is that the suspect used a semiautomatic 9mm Sig Sauer handgun and that the firearm was purchased by the teen’s father four days before the shooting. The gun was reportedly still loaded at the time it was taken away from the suspect as he was taken into custody. Bouchard said he believes “that interrupted what could have been seven more victims.”
Authorities also said the suspect actually posted photos of the gun used in the shooting online days before the event occurred, and the Detroit News described him as a “bespectacled boy” who appeared in a local newspaper in 2017. So while the authorities have not officially identified the shooter outside of saying he’s a 15-year-old sophomore at the school, people on social media had enough information to begin their own investigations into the identity of the shooter and they all came up with one name—Ethan Crumbley.
As International Business Times reported, based on a clip from the newspaper and social media posts from Ethan’s accounts—which include an apparent “Return of the Devil” countdown to the shooting and multiple photos of a 9mm Sig Sauer pistol, one of which was literally captioned, “This is the gun I’m going to use”—many have speculated that Ethan must be the shooter and have shared screenshots they believe prove it.
According to the Post, less than three weeks before the shooting, rumors floated around among students at Oxford High School concerning the possibility of a violent incident. On November 12, school administrators sent a letter to parents concerning the rumors.
“Student interpretations of social media posts and false information have exacerbated the overall concern,” the letter reads. “We want our parents and students to know there has been no threat to our building nor our students.”
The Rumors reportedly began earlier in November after staff members discovered a severed deer head and graffiti made with red paint inside a courtyard before school began. A November 4, letter concerning that incident was sent to parents saying the graffiti “did not contain any threats or any concerning messages.” Police have a suspect in custody regarding the vandalism that is not the same person they have in custody for the shooting.
Treshan Bryant, a senior at the school, said he heard rumors this month that someone was “going to shoot up the school,” the Post reported, but administrators said they found no credible cause for concern and that “numerous highly-trained professionals who work to keep our building safe and secure”—a statement that obviously has not aged well.
On Tuesday, McCabe addressed rumors that have circulated regarding the shooting.
“We’re hearing all kinds of rumors about warning signs. We are not aware of any warnings,” he said. “I can tell you, we work very closely with Tim Throne, the superintendent, and the principal of this school. If there were warnings, I’ve got to believe they would have told us.”