Officials suggest probe into Michigan school's actions before mass shooting

·4 min read
Officials suggest probe into Michigan school's actions before mass shooting

A Michigan school district has declined an offer from the state attorney general to review actions taken at Oxford High School before last week’s shooting killed four people, the attorney general said.

Attorney General Dana Nessel said Monday night that she was “extremely disappointed” by the decision by Oxford Community Schools.

Nessel, Michigan’s top prosecutor, tweeted that the district had chosen to hire a private security firm.

The school district did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Monday.

Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne had said in an open letter to the community Saturday that he would enlist a third-party investigator to determine whether campus personnel could have done more to prevent Tuesday's attack, which authorities allege was carried out by a 15-year-old student who used a handgun that they said his father had bought days earlier.

Nessel suggested Sunday that her state investigators would be best equipped to take on the investigation. She said she reacted out to the district's attorney and offered to "conduct a full and comprehensive review" of the shooting and the events leading up to it.

Nessel said Monday in a statement that “This tragedy demands a united effort from all of us who serve the Oxford community."

The suspect and his parents had been called into the school office on the day of the crime after a teacher found the teenager with drawings that seemed to depict a gun and a shooting scene, prosecutors said.

His parents declined to take their son home from school, and he was returned to class, officials have said.

The suspect might have had the gun, alleged to have been purchased by his father, in his backpack when they met with school officials last Tuesday.

“We don’t know exactly if that weapon was in his bag, where it was, we just know it was in the school and he had access to it,” Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald told CNN on Monday.

Asked whether school personnel might be prosecuted for failing to find the weapon, McDonald replied: “We haven’t ruled out charging anyone.”

The suspect was charged Wednesday with four counts of first-degree murder, one count of terrorism causing death, seven counts of assault with intent to murder and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Tate Myre, 16, and Justin Shilling, 17, were killed. Seven other people, including a teacher, were wounded.

A 14-year-old girl with wounds to her neck and her chest was released Sunday from Hurley Medical Center in Flint, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday in a statement. A 17-year-old girl, the last of the injured students still in the hospital, was stable at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital, the sheriff's office said.

The suspect's parents were arrested early Saturday on four counts of involuntary manslaughter after they were found “hiding” in what was described as an art studio near downtown Detroit, the city's police chief said.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said detectives interviewed Andrzej Sikora, 65, for around two hours Monday. Sikora, an artist in Detroit, rents the building where the suspect’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were found, said Clarence Dass, Sikora’s attorney.

A search warrant was then executed at his Troy home, and several digital devices were seized for examination, the sheriff’s office said.

“The issue for Detectives is what did Sikora know and when did he know it,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Dass said that Sikora fully cooperated and will continue to assist investigators, and that he has not been charged with any crime.

"Mr. Sikora did not assist the Crumbleys in evading law enforcement, did not know there was a warrant for their arrest, and did not know they were at his art studio at the time of their arrest," Dass said in a statement.

The Crumbleys and their son are being held in isolation at the Oakland County Jail, the sheriff’s office said. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said Saturday that they are checked “multiple times an hour.”

“There is no indication that any of them were suicidal, but out of an abundance of caution, our amazing corrections team is doing suicide watches on all three of them,” he said.

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