“My teacher, he walked into the classroom; he locked the door and he told us to call 911. And then we heard the rest of the gunshots, more screaming,” Cumbey told CNN. .
Authorities say at least 30 shots were fired, killing four students and injuring six other teenagers as well as a teacher before the suspected gunman – an Oxford high school student – was arrested by police with cartridges still in his handgun.
The four deceased students were Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17, authorities said.
While the gunfire lasted only a few minutes, authorities said there was substantial evidence that it was a premeditated attack by accused shooter Ethan Crumbley, 15.
“A preliminary examination of the accused’s social media accounts, his cell phone, as well as other documented evidence recovered from the scene showed that this accused had planned this shooting, he deliberately brought the handgun on this day. there with the intention of killing as many students as he could, “Prosecutor Marc Keast said during Crumbley’s arraignment on Wednesday.
The sophomore high school student faces a slew of charges as an adult, including first degree murder, terrorism and other charges. On Wednesday in court, his lawyer, Scott Kozak, asked to plead not guilty to the arraignment, saying “my client remains silent.”
The weekend before the shoot
James Crumbley bought the gun that authorities believe was used in the Nov. 26 shooting at an Oxford store with his son, according to Karen McDonald, the Oakland County prosecutor leading the case.
Around the same day, the alleged shooter posted a photo of a handgun to an Instagram account with the caption: “Just got my new beauty today. SIG SAUER 9mm” with an emoji in the shape of a heart, McDonald said at a press conference on Friday.
Jennifer Crumbley also posted about the gun to social media over the weekend, saying, “Mother and Son’s Day is testing its new Christmas present,” McDonald said.
And over the weekend, Jennifer Crumbley took her son to a shooting range, a police source told CNN.
Disturbing red flags before the shooting
As classes resumed after the long Thanksgiving vacation, a teacher noticed Ethan Crumbley searching the web for ammunition, McDonald said. The teacher informed school officials, who contacted parents by phone and email, but they did not respond.
Later Monday, Jennifer Crumbley texted him saying, “LOL, I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught,” McDonald said.
In two videos on Crumbley’s phone that were recorded that night, he spoke of shooting and killing high school students, said Lt. Tim Willis of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.
Another piece of evidence is a diary found in Crumbley’s backpack that details his “desire to shoot the school to include the murder of students,” Willis said on arraignment.
On Tuesday morning, another teacher found a drawing on the accused gunman’s desk that essentially depicted a shooting, McDonald said. It “alarmed her to the point that she took a picture of it on her cell phone,” the prosecutor said.
The illustration showed a “semi-automatic handgun pointing at the words ‘thoughts won’t stop helping me'”, and it included a drawing of a bullet with the words “blood everywhere” written on it. on top, she said. The words “my life is useless” and “the world is dead” were also inscribed on the drawing.
“Between the drawing of the weapon and the bullet, there is a drawing of a person who appears to have been shot twice and bleeding. Below that figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji,” McDonald said.
The shocking image led school officials to arrange a meeting with the accused gunman and his parents, who were tasked with helping to provide advice to their son within 48 hours. During that meeting, Ethan Crumbley had the gun in his backpack, which was not searched, McDonald said.
Parents resisted removing their son from school, McDonald said, and he was allowed to return to class.
“That morning, looking at this drawing, it’s impossible not to conclude that there was a reason to believe he was going to hurt someone,” she said.
The district school principal said on Thursday that no discipline was needed against Crumbley after the meeting.
“He’s been, you know, called into the office and all that stuff,” Tim Throne said in a video statement. “No discipline was justified. There is no disciplinary record in high school.”
Video footage shows how the shootings began, prosecutors say
After Ethan Crumbley was allowed to return to class, surveillance video from school cameras shows what happened next, authorities say.
Just before 12:51 p.m. Crumbley could be seen with a backpack, and then a minute or two later came out of the bathroom without a backpack but with a gun in his hand, Prosecutor Keast said during the interview. arraignment on Wednesday.
Crumbley then allegedly began “methodically and deliberately” pacing the halls, pointing a gun at the students and firing the gun, Keast said. When the students started to flee, the accused allegedly continued down the hall at a “methodical pace” and shot inside classrooms and at students who had not escaped, a- he declared.
“What is depicted in this video, honestly judge, I don’t have the words to describe how horrible it was,” he said.
This continued for another four or five minutes, and he went to another bathroom, Keast said. When the deputies arrived, he put down the gun and surrendered.
Aiden Page, a high school student in Oxford, described a terrifying scene in his classroom.
“We grabbed calculators, we grabbed scissors just in case the shooter came in and we had to attack them,” he said, describing how the shooter got so close that a bullet pierced one of the desks that he and other students used to block the door. .
Cumbey, the junior who heard the first shots, told CNN the gunman was so close to his classroom that when he spoke to the 911 operator he could only whisper “high school gunman”. Oxford ”, to avoid being overheard.
Dozens of other terrified students were also calling 911. The call center received more than 100 calls as police rushed to the school at 12:52 p.m. local time, the Oakland County Sheriff said. , Michael Bouchard.
The suspected shooter was arrested within two to three minutes of the police arriving, Bouchard said.
“I think they literally saved lives, having shot the suspect with a loaded gun still in the building,” the sheriff said.
At around 1:15 p.m., there were reports of a high school shooting.
At 1:22 p.m., Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, “Ethan is not doing it,” prosecutors said.
And at 1:37 p.m., prosecutors said, James Crumbley called 911 to report that a gun was missing from his house and that he believed his son might be the shooter.
CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz, Caroll Alvarado, Mark Morales, Kristina Sgueglia, Carolyn Sung, Elizabeth Joseph, Melanie Schuman, Theresa Waldrop, Adrienne Broaddus, Taylor Romine, Sahar Akbarzai, Sonia Moghe, Amir Vera, Jason Hanna, Laura Dolan, Steve Almasy, Jay Croft, Chris Boyette, Artemis Moshtaghian, and Leon Jobe contributed to this report.