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Oxford School District Declines AG Nessel's Offer To Probe School Shooting

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP/CBS) — The Oxford Community School District has declined Attorney General Dana Nessel's offer to conduct a third-party review of the shooting that occurred at Oxford High School last week.

Tim Throne, the Oxford Community Schools Superintendent, said that a third party will investigate the situation. When this was announced Nessel offered that her office could conduct the investigation.

OXFORD, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 03: A memorial outside of Oxford High School continues to grow on December 03 2021 in Oxford, Michigan. Four students were killed and seven others injured on November 30, when student Ethan Crumbley allegedly opened fire with a pistol at Oxford High School. Crumbley has been charged in the shooting. One or both of his parents are expected to be charged today. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

In a statement, Nessel explained her thoughts on the district declining her offer.

"I am extremely disappointed that the school district chose to decline my offer to devote the full resources of the Department of Attorney General to review the events leading up to and on November 30th. This tragedy demands a united effort from all of us who serve the Oxford community," said Nessel.

She continued, "Despite this outcome, my department will continue to support the ongoing criminal investigation in Oakland County and looks forward to meeting with parents, students, and teachers when they are ready to share their thoughts. To that end, we also remain committed to evaluating opportunities for our department to ensure that students in Oxford - and across Michigan - receive the protection they deserve and that guns are kept out of our schools."

Throne wrote in a statement Saturday that the district has "asked an independent security consultant to review all district safety practices and procedures. An initial review including review of videotaped evidence show staff and students' response to the shooter was efficient, exemplary and definitely prevented further deaths and injuries."

The school district has not identified which firm will be conducting the review.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald, who is overseeing the criminal case against the student accused in the Nov. 30 shooting and who took the rare step of charging his parents, left open the possibility Monday that school officials could also face charges, saying "in this case, a lot could have been done different."

When charging the Crumbley's, she explained that three hours before Ethan opened fire, he was sent back to class after he and his parents had a meeting with school counselors about a drawing found on his desk showing a bullet with the text "blood everywhere."

"In this case, a lot could have been done different. I mean at that meeting he was allowed to go back to school," she said Monday during an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America."

"We know that he either had that weapon with him or someplace where he could have stored it in the school. But he had it in the school, there's no question. And leaving the decision to parents about whether he goes home or not ..." she added, not finishing the sentence.

Defense attorney Paulette Michel Loftin told AP on Tuesday that she has met twice with Ethan Crumbley since being appointed as his lawyer Thursday by Oakland County Circuit Court. Loftin said she told him that both of his parents have been charged and also are jailed. She declined to share the substance of her conversations with Ethan.

Loftin said she has requested and is awaiting discovery on the case from the prosecutor's office.

"I only know what's been said on the news," she told AP. The discovery "simply is just not ready yet. There are thousands and thousands of pages. All of those pages have to be gone through and redacted. That takes time."

Throne said Crumbley and his parents met with counselors on the day of the shooting. He said counselors found the teen "calm" and didn't believe he would harm others. The parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, were asked to take their son home but "flatly refused," Throne said.

Ethan Crumbley has been charged as an adult with murder, terrorism, and other crimes in the attack. And McDonald filed involuntary manslaughter charges against his parents, saying they failed to intervene on the day of the tragedy despite being confronted with the drawing and its disturbing message.

McDonald said Monday that Crumbley's parents did not mention during the meeting at the school that Ethan had access to a 9mm semi-automatic pistol. Authorities say he used the gun to carry out the attack, and that his father bought it for him at a local gun shop on Black Friday as an early Christmas present. Although the gun was legally sold to James Crumbley, minors in Michigan cannot possess guns aside from in limited situations, such as when hunting with an adult.

The school is in Oxford Township, a community of about 23,000 people roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit.

The parents were taken into custody early Saturday after they were caught hiding inside in the Detroit studio of artist Andrzej Sikora. The artist's attorney said Sunday that he is cooperating with investigators and didn't know the couple was facing charges or that they had stayed overnight at his studio while authorities were searching for them.

The couple's attorneys have said they didn't intend to flee.

© 2021 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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