(CNN) — School officials in Michigan had legal grounds to search the backpack and locker of shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley, but did not do so, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald told CNN on Monday.
“We don’t know exactly if the gun was in his backpack, where it was. We just know that it was at school and that he had access to it,” McDonald told CNN’s Brianna Keilar.
When asked if members of the school’s staff could be prosecuted, McDonald replied, “We have not ruled out charging anyone.”
McDonald also said there was evidence beyond what has already been revealed that he will use to prosecute Crumbley and his parents in the shooting that left four students dead.
Parents and son arrested in Michigan shooting
Following Tuesday’s shooting in Oxford, Michigan, and the subsequent pursuit and arrest of the alleged shooter’s parents, authorities said the three were being housed at the same facility and being watched under strict supervision to prevent possible suicide.
Staff at the Oakland County Jail in Pontiac checked the three “several times an hour,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said at a news conference Saturday.
Ethan Crumbley, 15, is accused of shooting and killing four companions class and wounding seven others at the Oxford institute. His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were charged with four counts of manslaughter in the Tuesday shooting and were due to attend an appearance Friday.
But they missed the appointment and this set the authorities in motion to locate the couple, who she was found and detained on Saturday.
The three are unable to communicate with each other in jail, Bouchard said, and he does not believe Ethan Crumbley was informed of his parents’ indictment and arrest.
Michigan authorities don’t believe detainees have mental health problems
“(Crumbley) would not have been informed that we were looking for his parents, since he is isolated, and it is not that we have a television remote control in his hands,” Bouchard said Saturday.
None of the Crumbleys had contacted their staff and there is “nothing to lead us to believe that no one has a mental health problem thus far, based on the records or information that we have discovered,” he said.
Ethan Crumbley he was charged on Wednesday as an adult with terrorism, first degree murder and other charges in the shooting that killed 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin; Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17. Juliana, 14, and Justin Shilling, 17. On Wednesday, a defense attorney pleaded not guilty on behalf of Crumbley.
James and Jennifer Crumbley have pleaded not guilty to the involuntary manslaughter charges, which were brought when the prosecutors alleged who provided unrestricted access to the weapon Ethan Crumbley is accused of using.
The parents’ attorneys maintain that they intended to surrender to authorities prior to their arrest inside an industrial building in nearby Detroit.
“We intend to fight this case in the royal courts and not in the court of public opinion. We know that in the end all history and truth will prevail,” said the attorneys for the defendants.
“They appeared to be hiding in the building,” Detroit Police Chief James White said during a news conference early Saturday. They were “very distraught” after being detained, the chief said.
White said he was unaware of the Crumbleys’ intentions, but added that “this is not indicative that they are going to turn themselves in, hiding in a warehouse.”
A man helped Crumbley’s parents
A man who, according to the police, helped the Crumbleys break into the Detroit industrial building where they were found, has come forward and is cooperating with authorities, the man’s lawyer said.
Andrzej Sikora, 65, knew that the Crumbleys were using their workspace in the aforementioned industrial building, but “did not really know what was going on” and did not know that the couple “had active arrest warrants” when they were discovered and subsequently arrested, attorney Clarence Dass told CNN on Sunday.
Sikora “got caught up in this,” Dass said, but declined to say why he allowed the couple to stay in the workspace or provide additional details about their relationship, other than saying that he “knew them, but not well.” .
Surveillance footage showed an individual guiding the Crumbleys as they parked their vehicle at the rear of the building during daylight hours, a law enforcement official told CNN.
Dass told CNN that his client was in the workspace for “a short period of time,” but that he was not there late Friday afternoon or overnight when the Crumbleys were detained, adding that he did not know. he realized that the Crumbleys were in his space for “so long.”
Sikora “has been an upright citizen all his life. An immigrant from Poland, he has devoted his adult life to the arts and to the Detroit metropolitan community,” Dass said in a news release Sunday afternoon, adding that Sikora was put in contacted authorities to provide information upon learning of the Crumbleys’ arrest.
Sheriff Bouchard said Saturday that law enforcement is gathering information and will present it to the county attorney for possible charges. As of early Monday, Sikora has not been charged with any crime.
Superintendent requests third party investigation
Oxford Community Schools in Michigan has requested an independent third-party investigation into Tuesday’s shooting at Oxford High School, Superintendent Tim Throne said in a statement. paper addressed to the Oxford school community on Saturday.
Throne provided details on “the school’s version of events” in the letter, highlighting the movements of the shooting suspect, Ethan Crumbley, before and during the shooting.
On Tuesday morning, after a teacher alerted school counselors and the dean of students to the suspect’s troubling drawings and written statements, the suspect was “immediately removed from the classroom” and taken to a student’s office. counselor, Throne explained in the letter. A day earlier, the student was discovered viewing ammunition images on his mobile phone during class and said it was for target practice, his family’s hobby, the letter says.
The suspect told a school counselor the drawing was for a video game he was designing, Throne said. Counselors watched the student in his office as they tried unsuccessfully to contact his parents for an hour and a half, according to the letter.
After contacting the parents and their arrival, the counselors asked questions about the student’s ability to harm, and the family’s responses “led the counselors to again conclude that he had no intention of harming himself or harming others.” says the letter.
School counselors told parents they had 48 hours to seek counseling for their child, otherwise the school would have to contact Child Protective Services, the letter says. When asked to take their son home for the rest of the day, Throne said the student’s parents “flatly refused,” leaving their son to “go back to work.”
No prior disciplinary action against the suspect
Because he had no prior disciplinary actions on his file, school counselors decided to allow him to return to his class rather than send him to what they thought would be an empty home, Throne said, adding that the decision was not shared with the principal. or the deputy director.
The suspect began firing his gun “during between classes, when hundreds of students were in the hallway transitioning from one classroom to another” that morning, Throne said, and it is unclear if the gun was in the student’s backpack during their meeting.
“Before the shooter could walk a short distance into the main hallway, students and staff had already entered classrooms, locked doors, erected makeshift barricades, and locked or fled according to their training,” Throne said. . “The suspect was unable to access a single classroom.”
An initial review of the videos of the shooting showed that “the response of staff and students to the shooter was efficient, exemplary and definitely prevented further deaths and injuries,” the superintendent said.
An independent security consultant has been asked to review the district’s security procedures and practices carried out by teachers and staff during Tuesday’s shooting, Throne said.
With information from Sonia Moghe, Shimon Prokupecz, Carolyn Sung, Elizabeth Joseph, Brian Vitagliano, Mark Morales, Jason Hanna, Aya Elamroussi y Susannah Cullinane.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism