Breaking Down the Oxford High School Shooting
By Sahar Ali
Volume 2 Issue 3
January 14, 2022
Image provided by Fox 2 Detroit
MICHIGAN- On November 30th, 2021, a 15-year-old student identified as Ethan Crumbley opened fire at Oxford High School, killing four students and leaving several others critically injured. Prosecutors started filing involuntary manslaughter charges against James and Jennifer, Ethan Crumbley’s parents, on December 3rd, 2021. The event that occurred on November 30th was a tragedy.
Events That Occurred at the School
At 12:51 p.m., authorities received one of the first of over a hundred 911 calls regarding the shooting. After viewing the security footage from November 30th, the authorities stated that the suspect, Ethan Crumbley, came out of a bathroom and opened fire at students present in the hallway. As the first gunshots were heard by the students at Oxford High School, they immediately rushed for cover and barricaded themselves behind classroom doors using chairs. Authorities stated that within the first five minutes, eleven people had been shot. With the handgun, Crumbley fired about thirty shots before he was detained by the police in the school’s hallway.
For many hours, investigators looked over the school’s security cameras to track the suspect’s actions. From this security footage, Crumbley’s targets seemed random and the motive to open fire at the school has not yet been determined.
Ethan Crumbley’s actions took the lives of four students: Hana St. Juliana (14), Madisyn Baldwin (17), Tate Myre (16), and Justin Shilling (17). Hana, Madisyn, and Tate all died in a sheriff’s car while being transported to a hospital; Justin died in a hospital the next day.
Hana St. Juliana played on Oxford High School’s volleyball and basketball teams. Madisyn Baldwin was a “beautiful, smart, sweet loving girl,” as described by her grandmother. She was also considered a talented artist. Tate Myre was a linebacker and a tight end of Oxford High School’s football team. He had also received an All-Region award recently. Justin Shilling was on Oxford High School’s boys bowling team.
Officials also state that six students (ranging from ages 14-17) were injured and a bullet grazed a 47-year-old teacher.
The Suspect The suspect, Ethan Crumbley, a sophomore at Oxford, lives in Oxford Village, a suburb with fewer than 3,500 residents.
On the morning of November 30th, the day of the shooting, Crumbley’s parents were called into the high school after one of his teachers discovered a note drawn by him which caused the teacher alarm. The note contained images of a gun with a person who had been shot and a laughing emoji. The note also said the words, “Blood everywhere” and “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.”
A meeting was also held a day before the shooting took place as a teacher saw Crumbley
searching online for gun ammunition during class.
Furthermore, investigators found two videos from Crumbley’s cellphone that were made the
night before the shooting. In these videos, Ethan Crumbley talked about shooting and killing the
students at his high school the next day. Authorities also state that a journal in Crumbley’s
backpack was found where he wrote about his desire to “shoot up the school.”
Ethan Crumbley’s lawyer has entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.
The authorities are still investigating this case and have stated that they believe Ethan Crumbley
had planned the shooting alone.
Charges Against the Suspect
Ethan Crumbley was charged as an adult with one count of terrorism causing death. He was also charged with four counts of first-degree murder. If convicted, he will receive a life sentence.
Prosecutors state that Crumbley’s plan was premeditated, and his parents were also charged.
Why the Parents Were Charged
The handgun that was used by Ethan Crumbley during the shooting (a 9-millimeter Sig Sauer) was bought by his father, James Crumbley, four days before the shooting. Jennifer, Ethan Crumbley’s mother, stated on social media that the weapon was her son’s “Christmas present.”
When the school informed Mrs. Crumbley that her son had been searching for ammunition, she texted, “LOL, I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught” to Ethan. Ms. McDonald
states that school officials told Crumbley’s parents that they were required to find counseling for
their son, but his parents did not want their son to be taken out of school. The school also did not
ask if he had the gun nor searched through his backpack that he had brought to the office.
After Crumbley’s parents did not show up for their arraignment, they became the subject of a
major fugitive hunt.
After being found in Detroit, both parents were taken into custody and are being held in the same
jail facility with their son in Oakland County, Michigan. Each of the three family members is
being kept in isolation.
Consequences the School is Facing
Oxford High School’s response to Ethan Crumbley’s behavior is being studied closely -
especially the decision of the guidance counselors who sent Crumbley back to class after a
teacher discovered his alarming drawings. His personal belongings were not searched either.
On December 9th, the parents of two sisters who survived the shooting filed a lawsuit in a federal court against the school and its officials, which included the superintendent, principal, dean, two guidance counselors, and two teachers.