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Oxford High School students faced far greater danger than law enforcement initially realized, with a 15-year-old suspect carrying twice as much ammo as first believed.
The suspect, Ethan Crumbley, had plenty of bullets, said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. Investigators have found 30 spent shell casings at the school so far and discovered the suspect had 18 rounds of unused ammunition.
The additional rounds, Bouchard said, means more lives may have been at risk.
Bouchard revealed that Crumbley met with school administrators and his parents regarding his behavior the day of the shooting at around 10 a.m., less than three hours before the shootings happened. Bouchard declined to describe this behavior.
Prior to these two meetings, Bouchard said Crumbley did not appear to have a disciplinary record and reiterated that law enforcement agencies did not receive any information about Crumbley prior to the shooting.
Rumors circulated online that Crumbley might have been bullied, but Bouchard said Oxford High has no record of the suspect being bullied.
"There is nothing he could have faced that would warrant this senseless, absolutely brutal violence," Bouchard said.
Bouchard said he agreed with the murder and other charges the prosecutor seeks to bring against Crumbley.
"I would remind and encourage anyone, whether they were there or feel traumatized by the event: It is strength to seek help, not weakness." Bouchard said. "Trauma affects people in dramatic ways and asking people for help, seeking a therapist, or a counselor or a chaplain is an important step to process such a tragedy."
Bouchard said he also needed to clarify misinformation that has been circulating: The chilling video from inside Oxford High School on Tuesday afternoon was not the suspect, but a plainclothes deputy, who used the word "bro."
The sheriff reiterated that there was not information suggesting that there was a threat before the shooting. Issues related to other concerns — not the shooting — had been raised, but they were unrelated. As far as he knows, no law enforcement agency had Crumbley on their radar.
Crumbley, Bouchard said, likely brought the gun into the school in a backpack or tucked in his waist. There are no metal detectors at the school. The teen came out of a bathroom with the pistol, walked through hallways shooting and never entered a classroom.
During an afternoon news conference, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced she is seeking to charge Crumbley, as an adult.
He was arraigned and charged with four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, one count of terrorism causing death, and terrorism and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Earlier Wednesday morning, Undersheriff Mike McCabe said a fourth Oxford High student, 17-year-old Justin Shilling, who was injured in the shooting, had died at McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac.
McDonald said she also is considering charges against Crumbley's parents.
Crumbley was armed with a semiautomatic handgun, Bouchard said, adding he walked through the school Tuesday night. He detailed his observations and case details in a Wednesday morning interview with CNN.
"The evidence I've seen shows he was very clearly trying to kill people," Bouchard said, adding later in the interview that video of the shooting was chilling and shows "it's clear he came out with the intent to kill people. He was shooting people at close range often times toward the head or chest."
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Dave Boucher contributed to this report. Follow Detroit Free Press on Twitter (@freep), Instagram (@detroitfreepress) and like us on Facebook (@detroitfreepress). Stay connected and stay informed. Become a subscriber.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Sheriff: Oxford shooting suspect had 18 rounds of unused ammo