DETROIT (AP) — Some teachers and a counselor at a Michigan high school were aware of a teen’s troubling interest in guns and violence months before he was accused of fatally shooting four students and wounding others, a lawyer representing victims’ families said Thursday.
“From literally the beginning of school, Ethan Crumbley was evidencing signs of being a highly troubled individual, to say the least,” said Detroit attorney Ven Johnson, citing depositions taken in a civil lawsuit against Oxford Community Schools and some staff at Oxford High School.
Crumbley, now 16, faces trial next year as an adult on murder and other charges in the Nov. 30 shooting.
One teacher said Crumbley drew what appeared to be an ammunition magazine on a note card in late August 2021. Crumbley also responded in a survey that his favorite books included “Making Bombs for Hitler,” while “Dexter” and “Breaking Bad” were among his favorite television shows.
A week or so later, he wrote in an autobiographical poem assignment for a Spanish teacher that he “feels terrible and that his family is a mistake,” Johnson quoted from an email the teacher sent to a school counselor.
The teacher who received the note card said in her deposition that she didn’t see the drawing until the day before the shooting. There apparently was no follow up to the Spanish teacher’s email in September asking the counselor to touch base with Crumbley, Johnson said.
Prosecutors have said Crumbley used a semi-automatic handgun to open fire on other teenagers in the hallway at the school roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit. The four students who were killed were 16-year-old Tate Myre, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin and 17-year-old Justin Shilling.
Ethan Crumbley, a teenager accused of killing four students in a shooting at Oxford High School, attends a hearing at Oakland County circuit court in Pontiac, Mich. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP, Pool)ASSOCIATED PRESS
Crumbley’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were charged with involuntary manslaughter and pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors accuse the couple of failing to keep the gun used in the shooting secure at home and failing to reasonably care for their son when he showed signs of mental distress.
The day before the shooting, a teacher saw Ethan Crumbley looking at ammunition on his phone while in class. School officials left a voicemail informing his mother about it.
On the morning of the shooting, Crumbley’s parents …read more