Oxford School Shooting

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Photo by: Fabrice Florin https://flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/25427234567

Loor Elbedour

On November 30th, 2021, 15-year old Ethan Crumbley opened fire on his classmates at Oxford Highschool near Detroit, Michigan killing 4 students, injuring 7 students and 1 teacher.

The shooting claimed the lives of Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17.

Reportedly the day of the shooting, Crumbley’s parents had been called to the school twice by Crumbley’s teacher due to “concerns” regarding his behavior and a note where he had drawn images of a gun, a person who had been shot, and a laughing emoji. He also wrote the words “Blood everywhere” and “The thoughts won’t stop…Help me”.

Unfortunately this wasn’t the only sign disregarded by officials at Oxford High School. A teacher caught Crumbley looking up ammunition for a semiautomatic handgun during class. Crumbley’s parents were again urgently called to the school. According to authorities, after the parent-teacher conference, Crumbley’s mom texted him “LOL, I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.” This was the day before the shooting.

New York Times says that authorities told a judge during a video arraignment that investigators recovered two videos from the Crumbley’s cell phone where he is talking about shooting and killing students. These videos were made the night before the shooting. Authorities also said that a journal of the suspects entailed his desire to “shoot up the school.

Although the motive for the shooting is still unclear, some say that the suspect was being bullied. Authorities believe that the suspect worked alone and did not work with anyone in planning the shooting.

Oakland County Sheriff, Mike Bouchard says that the suspect’s father, James Crumbley, bought the handgun 4 days prior to the shooting. Also, 4 days Prior to the shooting, Ethan Crumbley had posted to social media a picture of him holding the gun bought by James Crumbley. The caption stated “Just got my new beauty today… Ask any questions and I will answer.” The suspects parents are both now on trial for 4 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

After viewing security footage of the attack, authorities report that the suspect jumped out of the bathroom and started firing at students in the hallway. He fired about 30 shots and shot 11 students. There didn’t appear to be any specific students targeted and there was no pattern in who was shot; it was random.

Oakland County police apprehended the suspect quickly — the suspect did not resist.

Priests, Pastors and religious leaders organized two candlelight vigils in the community churches on the 30th of November. Thousands from the devastated community came together to mourn the victims.

This epidemic of school shootings has been occurring for quite some time. According to Education Week, a newspaper that tracks school shootings, the shooting was the deadliest this year out of 28 that occurred in 2021. Education Week also points out that COVID interrupted the trend line and since COVID started the rate of a school shooting taking place has increased.

Education Week goes on to quote the president of the Brady gun control advocacy group, Kris Brown, as saying “Our laws haven’t really adapted to the reality of school shootings.”

Hopefully, legislatures can work to close that gap before another vigil has to be organized.