School officials could be charged in Michigan shooting

Michigan school officials could still be charged for ignoring multiple red flags ahead of the deadly mass shooting at Oxford High School, the local prosecutor warned in a new interview.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald had already lashed out at how “angry” she was at Ethan Crumbley, 15, being allowed to remain in class before he allegedly killed four classmates in the deadliest school shooting of the year.

Asked Monday on NBC’s “Today” show if it was “possible that school officials could face charges,” McDonald conceded, “It’s possible, yes.”

The prosecutor — who earlier confirmed that the investigation was ongoing — did not elaborate further, or give an expected timeline on a decision.

The warning came as Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne said he had ordered “a third-party investigation” into the handling of the red flags to ensure “we leave no stone unturned.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel tweeted Sunday that her office had offered to lead the “full and comprehensive review.”

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said it was “possible that school officials could face charges.”
Eric Seals/Detroit Free Press via AP

“Our attorneys and special agents are uniquely qualified to perform an investigation of this magnitude,” she tweeted, without mentioning if her office was also considering charges.

McDonald, meanwhile, made no secret of her feelings Friday as she made the rare decision to charge Crumbley’s parents, James and Jennifer, who on Black Friday allegedly bought their son the 9mm Sig Sauer handgun he allegedly used in the slayings.

The local prosecutor largely based the parents’ involuntary manslaughter charges on ignoring warnings — ones she insisted should have forced the school to yank Crumbley from classes and alert law enforcement.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel did not mention if her office was also considering charges against school officials.
Max Ortiz/Detroit News via AP

A teacher had raised a red flag about him Monday — the day before the shooting — after seeing him looking up ammunition on his phone, McDonald had told reporters.

The morning of the shooting, a teacher found a drawing on Crumbley’s desk with a gun pointing at the words, “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me,” McDonald said.

The picture appeared to also show a person who had been shot twice, with the alarming words “blood everywhere,” “my life is useless” and “the world is dead,” the prosecutor had announced.

Oxford High School.
A teacher had raised a red flag about Ethan Crumbley the day before the shooting but he was allowed to return to classes on the promise that his parents would seek counseling for him.
Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP

The alarmed teacher took a photo of the image, and Crumbley’s parents were called in to the school hours before the shooting.

The parents “flatly refused” to take him home — and did not mention that they recently bought him a gun, which he allegedly had in his backpack at the time, according to officials. He was allowed to return to classes on the promise they would seek counseling for him within two days.

Within hours, the teen had shot dead four classmates — including a hero football player who reportedly tried to charge him — and injured seven others, including a teacher, the prosecutor said.

Ethan Crumbley.
Ethan Crumbley killed four classmates and injured seven other people.
Oakland County Sheriff’s Office via AP

The teen was charged as an adult with murder, terrorism and other crimes.

He is being held in the same Oakland County jail as his parents, where they are all on suicide watch, officials have said. All three have pleaded not guilty.

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