Live

Watch CBS News

Teen faces murder and terrorism charges in Michigan school shooting

get the free app
  • link copied
Death toll rises in Michigan school shooting
Death toll rises in Michigan school shooting 02:09

The 15-year-old suspect accused of opening fire at a Michigan high school, killing four people and wounding seven more, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder, authorities said Wednesday.

The teen, who is being charged as an adult, also faces one count of terrorism causing death, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, according to Karen McDonald, the Oakland County prosecutor.

The suspect, who was identified as Ethan Crumbley, made his first court appearance on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty. The judge denied bond after prosecutors called video of the shooting "horrific" and said the suspect "methodically and deliberately walked down the hallway aiming the firearm at students and firing."

The suspect could face additional charges, McDonald said. Prosecutors are also considering filing charges against his parents. Police said the teen's father purchased the gun just days prior to the shooting. McDonald declined to comment on whether the suspect took the gun or whether it was given to him illegally.

School shooting suspect charged with murder 09:30

McDonald said there's evidence that suggests "this was not just an impulsive act," and that it was planned "well before the incident."

"We've charged four counts of first-degree murder, which requires premeditation," she said. "And I am absolutely sure after reviewing the evidence that it wasn't even a close call. It was absolutely premeditated."

Police said they responded to Oxford High School just before 1 p.m. on Tuesday after receiving reports of an active shooter on the premises. The suspected shooter, who was identified as a sophomore at the school, fired at least 30 rounds, police said. He voluntarily surrendered to police and was taken into custody within minutes, officials said.

Authorities have not yet determined a motive for the shooting.

Michigan School Shooting
A memorial outside the Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan, on December 1, 2021.  Paul Sancya / AP

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said Wednesday that when authorities encountered the suspect, he was walking down a hallway with 18 rounds left, seven in his pocket and the rest in a magazine.

"With this much ammunition still with him... the quick actions of the school and the lockdown, as well as the deputies going to the danger, saved lives," he said.

Bouchard said the school had contact with the suspect the day before the shooting regarding "concerning" behavior, and that his parents were brought in the day of the shooting for a meeting. Bouchard did not say what the "concerning" behavior was but said there were no school records of the suspect being bullied.

The four deceased victims have been identified as 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 17-year old Madisyn Baldwin, 17-year-old Justin Shilling and 16-year old Tate Myre. Seven others were wounded in the shooting, including a 47-year-old teacher at the school, which is about 45 minutes north of Detroit. The sheriff said it did not appear that the students were specifically targeted. 

 

Prosecutor describes watching video of "horrific" shooting

While arguing that the suspect should not be granted bond, prosecutor Marc Keast described watching the suspect leave a school bathroom with a gun in hand. Keast said the suspect "methodically and deliberately walked down the hallway aiming the firearm at students and firing."

Keast said the suspect's social media showed he planned the shooting and intended "to murder as many students as he could." 

By Victoria Albert
 

Suspect pleads not guilty

The suspect made his first court appearance on Wednesday and entered a plea of not guilty. 

By Victoria Albert
 

School officials met with suspect before the shooting to address "concerning" behavior

School officials met with the suspect on the day before the shooting to discuss "concerning" behavior, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. He did not describe what behavior prompted the meeting. 

Bouchard said the suspect's parents went to the school for a "different" meeting with administrators on the morning of the shooting. He did not provide any additional information about the meeting. 

By Victoria Albert
 

The suspect had 18 rounds left when he was stopped by police

The suspect had 18 rounds left — seven in his pocket and the rest in a magazine — when he was stopped by police, according to Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. He said authorities' quick response to the scene "saved lives," and commended the officers for quickly approaching the shooter. 

No gunfire was exchanged with authorities and the suspect was taken into custody without incident, police said Tuesday. 

By Victoria Albert
 

Four people remain hospitalized, one in critical condition

Four of the seven wounded victims remain hospitalized, with one 17-year-old in critical condition and another 14-year-old in serious condition, according to Michael Bouchard, the Oakland County sheriff. The girl in critical condition sustained a gunshot wound to the chest, Bouchard said. 

By Victoria Albert
 

Prosecutor says terrorism charge was issued for "all the children who ran screaming"

When asked about the terrorism charge, McDonald said that while the first-degree murder and assault charges pertained to the wounded and deceased victims, the terrorism charge was issued for "all the children who ran screaming, hiding under desks." 

"What about all the children at home right now who can't eat and can't sleep and can't imagine a world where they could ever set foot back in that school?" she said. "Those are victims too, and so are their families, and so is the community. And the charge of terrorism reflects that."  

By Victoria Albert
 

Shooting was planned "well before the incident," prosecutor says

Karen McDonald, the Oakland County prosecutor, said the evidence suggests that the shooting was planned "well before" it occurred. McDonald declined to say exactly how long authorities believe the suspect had been planning the shooting.  

"We've charged four counts of first-degree murder, which requires premeditation," she said. "And I am absolutely sure after reviewing the evidence that it wasn't even a close call. It was absolutely premeditated." 

By Victoria Albert
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.