December 3, 2021

BREAKING: Parents Charged in Michigan School Shooting

The parents of the 15-year-old charged in the Oxford High School shooting have been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Jennifer and James Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, both face four counts of involuntary manslaughter, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced on Friday. If convicted, they could face up to 15 years in prison.

“All I can say at this point is those actions on mom and dad’s behalf go far beyond negligence,” McDonald said Thursday ahead of the charges.

Investigators said James Crumbley purchased the semi-automatic gun last week and gave it to his son.

“The parents were the only individuals in the position to know the access to weapons,” McDonald said on Thursday, ahead of the charges. She noted the gun “seems to have been just freely available to that individual.”

Behind the charges

At a news conference on Friday, McDonald announced the charges against the parents and revealed the details that led to them.

“While the shooter was the one who entered the high school and pulled the trigger, there are other individuals who contributed to the events on November 30, and it’s my intention to hold them accountable as well,” McDonald said. “It’s imperative we prevent this from happening again. No other parent or community should have to live through this nightmare.”

McDonald said that Crumbley’s parents were summoned to the school after a teacher found — and took a photo of — a drawing of a semi-automatic gun pointing at the words “the thoughts won’t stop, help me.” In another section of the paper was a drawing of a bullet below the words “blood everywhere.”

The paper also included a picture of a bleeding person who’d been shot twice. “Below that figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji,” the prosecutor said.

Crumbley’s parents were immediately summoned to the school, and a school counselor removed the shooter from his classroom, bringing him to the office with his backpack.

“The counselor had obtained the drawing, but the shooter had already altered it,” McDonald said. The shooter had “scratched out” the bullet, gun, and troubling words.

The parents were shown the drawing and advised they were required to get their son into counseling within 48 hours.

McDonald said the parents “failed to ask their son if he had his gun with him or where his gun was located and failed to inspect his backpack for the presence of the gun, which he had with him.” And they also “resisted the idea of their son leaving the school at that time.”

Ethan Crumbley was returned to the classroom and later emerged from a bathroom, firing a gun at students.

McDonald said Jennifer Crumbley sent a text to her son after the news of an active shooter at Oxford High School became public. The text said, “Ethan, don’t do it.”

Fifteen minutes later, James Crumbley called 911 to report that a gun was missing from his home, and he believed his son might be the active shooter. The prosecutor said, “the SIG Sauer 9mm handgun purchased by James Crumbley was stored unlocked in a draw in James and Jennifer’s bedroom.”

“I want to be really clear that these charges are intended to hold the individuals who contributed to this tragedy accountable, and also send a message that gun owners have a responsibility. When they fail to uphold that responsibility, there are serious and criminal consequences,” McDonald said.


Prosecutor: Michigan school shooting suspect wrote ‘help me’

December 3, 2021

Michigan Inundated with Copycat Threats Following Oxford High School Shooting

Oakland County is inundated with copycat school shooting threats almost immediately following four students were killed and seven others injured by a student who opened fire at Oxford High School.

Sheriff Michael Bouchard called such threats “some weird anomaly” that has become commonplace nationwide.

“Every time something like this happens in the country, there’s a whole bunch of copycat threats and texts and pictures,” Bouchard said during a press conference. “It really burdens law enforcement all across the nation.”

Several area high schools canceled classes after such threats were made, regardless of their credibility.

A spokesperson for the Waterford School District said Waterford Mott High School students were sent home early while police investigated an “unsubstantiated threat.”

In Southfield, a 17-year-old student was arrested for allegedly bringing a loaded handgun to school.

On Thursday, a female student was arrested for threatening to “shoot up” Stevenson High School in Sterling Heights.

Local media reported that many school districts are also closing Friday due to an abundance of threats shared on social media.

The sheriff reiterated that anyone who makes such a threat — regardless of its credibility — will be charged.

“If you make a threat, we’re gonna seek charges,” Bouchard said.


Bouchard: Copycat threats, credible or not, will be charged

December 2, 2021

Sheriff Says Oxford High Shooting Was Premeditated, Parents May Face Charges

Authorities in Oakland County, Michigan, charged a 15-year-old boy with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder, and terrorism, after he opened fire at his high school. Officials revealed additional details on Wednesday, including additional casualties and a meeting between school administrators and the suspect’s parents just a few hours before the violence.

Prosecutor Karen McDonald said the shooting was premeditated “based on a mountain of digital evidence” against Ethan Crumbley.

“This was not just an impulsive act,” McDonald said.

Crumbley was charged as an adult, and defense attorney Scott Kozak entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Assistant prosecutor Marc Keast successfully argued for no bail for Crumbley, who was transferred to jail from a juvenile detention facility.

“He deliberately brought the handgun that day with the intent to murder as many students as he could,” Keast said.

Keast said Crumbley entered a bathroom with a backpack and came out with a semi-automatic handgun, firing at students while moving down the hallway. The four victims were 16-year-old Tate Myre, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin, and 17-year-old Justin Shilling.

The shooter’s parents may also face charges

Deputies rushed to the school around lunchtime Tuesday and captured Crumbley within minutes of the shooting. Keast said Crumbley’s father purchased the firearm last week.

McDonald said they’re considering bringing charges against Crumbley’s parents.

“Owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate,” she said.

The shooting should be a wake-up call for new gun laws in a country that has become “desensitized to school shootings,” McDonald told reporters.

“We have to do better,” McDonald said. “How many times does this have to happen? How many times?”

She also said the terrorism charge is warranted.

“What about all the children who ran, screaming, hiding under desks? … Those are victims, too, and so are their families and so is the community,” McDonald said.

Ample warning signs

Authorities later learned of social media posts about threats of a shooting at Oxford. The sheriff stressed how crucial it is for such tips to be sent to authorities.

Lt. Tim Willis told a judge that Crumbley recorded a video the night before the shootings in which he discussed killing students.

A concerned parent, Robin Redding, said her son, 12th-grader Treshan Bryant, stayed home Tuesday after hearing threats of a possible shooting.

“This couldn’t be just random,” she said.

Sheriff Mike Bouchard told reporters that Crumbley’s parents were called to the school Tuesday “for behavior in the classroom that was concerning.” The teen remained in school, and the shooting occurred a few hours later.

Bouchard didn’t disclose what had worried school officials. He said investigators believe the gun was already in school.

“There is nothing that he could have faced that would warrant senseless, absolutely brutal violence on other kids,” Bouchard said.


Michigan teen charged in Oxford High School shooting

December 1, 2021

Student Kills 3 After Weeks of School Shooting Rumors

In Michigan, a 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at his high school on Tuesday, killing three students and wounding eight others, including a teacher.

Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe identified the three students killed at Oxford High School in Oxford Township as a 16-year-old boy and two girls, ages 14 and 17. Two others were undergoing surgery at 5 p.m. EST on Tuesday, and the remaining six victims were in stable condition.

Authorities say they received a flurry of 911 calls shortly before 1 p.m. about a shooting at the high school in the community of about 22,000 people roughly 30 miles north of Detroit.

According to McCabe, deputies apprehended the suspect without incident within five minutes of arriving at the school. The suspect’s parents visited him and advised their son not to cooperate with investigators.

Robin Redding said her son, Treshan Bryant, is a 12th grader at Oxford High School but stayed home on Tuesday. She said he’d heard threats of a shooting.

“This couldn’t be just random,” she said.

Redding didn’t elaborate on the specifics of what Bryant had heard, but she expressed general concern about school safety.

“Kids just, like they’re just mad at each other at this school,” she said.

Bryant said he texted several younger cousins in the morning, and they said they didn’t want to go to school, and he got a bad feeling. He asked his mom if he could do his assignments online.

Bryant said he had heard vague threats “for a long time now” about plans for a shooting at the school.

“You’re not supposed to play about that,” he said of the threats. “This is real life.”

We will continue to follow this developing story.


Authorities: Student kills 3, wounds 8 at Michigan school

November 17, 2021

University reaches settlement with unvaccinated student-athletes

Western Michigan University has reached a settlement with student-athletes who declined to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

WMU’s decision comes after suffering two courtroom losses. According to court documents, WMU will allow athletes to play their respective sport while requiring them to undergo daily COVID-19 testing and follow a mask mandate when appropriate. 

A group of at least 16 athletes had argued for a religious exemption from the school’s vaccine mandate. When WMU denied their request, the students sued.

Last month, a federal appeals court sided with the athletes, arguing that the school had violated their constitutional rights.

Attorney David Kallman said WMU will pay $34,000 in legal fees in the settlement. Additionally, the school said the athletes can keep their scholarships and remain on their teams.

“The university wishes the student athletes well in their academic and athletic careers, and the student athletes are excited to continue their academic and athletic careers,” WMU and the Great Lakes Justice Center said in a joint statement.


WMU gives up lawsuit fight over vaccines for athletes

November 12, 2021

Michigan Attorney General apologizes for getting drunk at a football tailgate

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) apologized for having too much to drink at a University of Michigan-Michigan State football game, an incident she referred to as “Tailgate-Gate.”

“My staff has pleaded with me to hire a crisis-management PR firm for an incident that occurred on 10/30 at the UM/MSU football game,” Nessel wrote in a Facebook post. “Instead, I thought I would just share the events which transpired that fateful day.”

Nessel went on to explain that she attended a tailgate party on an empty stomach.

“I thought it seemed like a good idea to eat 2 Bloody Mary’s [sic], since as long as you put enough vegetables in them, it’s practically a salad. As it turned out, this was not a brilliant idea,” she wrote.

Nessel said she started to feel sick while at the game and friends encouraged her to leave so she wouldn’t vomit on other fans. They helped her up the stairs and into a wheelchair.

“So there. That’s the scandalous tale of the events which transpired at Tailgate-Gate,” she wrote. “From now on, I pledge never to drink on an empty stomach, and definitely never to have another Bloody Mary. Cause it’s gonna take a while to get that taste out of my mouth.”

“Sorry to all the people who have supported me for letting you down. I will try to do better.”

The post included a photo of Nessel slumped over in her stadium seat with a U of M baseball cap pulled over her face.


Michigan AG says she drank too much at football tailgate

November 11, 2021

Flint residents to receive $626M settlement over water quality

On Wednesday, US District Judge Judith Levy approved a $626 million settlement for Flint residents and others exposed to lead and bacteria-contaminated water from 2014 to 2015.

“The settlement reached here is a remarkable achievement for many reasons, not the least of which is that it sets forth a comprehensive compensation program and timeline that is consistent for every qualifying participant,” Levy said.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced the deal in Aug. 2020, when the litigation was still pending.

The bulk of the funds, $600 million, will come from the state, which was accused of cutting corners instead of protecting its residents when it switched Flint’s water source without treating the water. McLaren Health is paying $5 million, and engineering firm Rowe Professional Services is paying $1.25 million.

“This is a historic and momentous day for the residents of Flint, who will finally begin to see justice served,” said Ted Leopold, one of the lead attorneys in the suit.


Judge OKs $626 million settlement in Flint water litigation

October 13, 2021

Michigan tells city to stop using tap water amid years-long lead contamination

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services urged Benton Harbor residents not to use tap water due to lead contamination.

The advisory comes after pressure from advocates who filed an emergency petition with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a federal response to the water issue.

According to the petition, for the past three years, Benton Harbor residents have been “subjected to levels of lead contamination from their public water system that presents an imminent and substantial endangerment to their health.”

A total of 51 percent of the city’s service lines “are known to contain lead, are known to be galvanized lines previously connected to lead, or are of unknown material but likely to contain lead.”

The state provided over 23,000 cases of bottled water to residents as of Monday and is offering other resources such as blood testing and services to find and remove hazards from residents’ homes.


Michigan tells majority-Black city not to drink tap water amid lead crisis

September 20, 2021

Michigan father files $1M lawsuit against after teacher cut daughter’s hair

Jimmy Hoffmeyer filed a $1 million lawsuit against Mount Pleasant Public Schools (MPPS) after a teacher cut his daughter’s hair, arguing that the incident violated his daughter’s constitutional rights.

Hoffmeyer, who is black and white, alleges racial discrimination, ethnic intimidation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and assault and battery.

Hoffmeyer said that in March, his daughter came home with one side of her hair cut. A classmate cut her hair on a school bus. Two days later, after complaining to the principal and having Jurnee’s haircut styled at a salon, she arrived home with the hair on the other side cut.

“The teacher cut her hair to even it out,” Hoffmeyer said.

The MPPS Board of Education found in an internal investigation that the employee who cut Jurnee’s hair was not motivated by racial bias. MPPS said it was “a clear violation of school policy,” but it was “clear that MPPS employees had good intentions when performing the haircut.”

Hoffmeyer told AP at the time he was dubious that an investigation had taken place.

“They never questioned my daughter or me,” Hoffmeyer said. “Who did they talk to? Did they really do an investigation?”


Father files $1M lawsuit after daughter’s hair cut by Michigan teacher

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