‘Absolutely terrorism’: Prosecutor on charges, parents’ liability

Morning In America

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (NewsNation Now) — The Michigan prosecutor charging an alleged school shooter said the crime was “horrific” and said she is weighing crimes against the teen’s parents.

Ethan Crumbley, 15, was charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder and terrorism for a shooting Tuesday at Oxford High School in southeastern Michigan. Four students have died and at least seven others were injured.

“There is an entire community and student body that is completely horrified and traumatized,” said Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald. “If the footage I saw of someone walking down a school hallway shooting and killing his classmates is not terror, I don’t know what it is.”

McDonald said the shooting was “absolutely premeditated” while on “Morning in America.”

McDonald said at a Wednesday press conference that the shooting was premeditated, based on a “mountain of digital evidence” against Crumbley.

Investigators found that he had recorded a video the night before the bloodshed in which he discussed killing students, Lt. Tim Willis of the sheriff’s office said.

“The issue really is whether or not a minor has the mental capacity to be charged as an adult. The theory really is, a minor doesn’t have a fully developed brain or mind in order to truly appreciate his conduct,” said criminal defense attorney Matt Fakhoury. “Now, the flip side of that coin is that even a minor would understand or appreciate that crimes such as terrorism or murder are wrong and illegal.”

The four students who were killed were identified as 16-year-old Tate Myre, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin and 17-year-old Justin Shilling, who died Wednesday.

A local sheriff said three victims were still hospitalized, including two 17-year-old girls in critical condition. Two 14-year-old boys with gunshot wounds are also recovering in the hospital. One has been upgraded to serious condition, and authorities said the other one was “stable.”

“It was a horrific crime and there’s just no doubt about it,” McDonald said. “You can’t look at that in any other way.”

McDonald said at a Wednesday press conference there was a possibility that the parents of Crumbley may be charged in connection to the crime.

Crumbly’s father bought the 9 mm Sig Sauer gun last week, according to the county sheriff. McDonald said the gun was not locked and secure and there was “strong evidence to suggest there was gross negligence” Thursday on “Morning in America.”

“Because with the right to gun ownership also brings responsibilities and the details that surround the access to that gun by mom and dad will be released very soon,” McDonald said. “But yes, we’re considering very serious charges. It goes far beyond negligence of a parent, let me just put it that way.”

It was the deadliest school shooting since the Santa Fe, Texas, High School massacre in 2018, according to The Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University Mass Killings database. The U.S. has had 31 mass killings this year, of which 28 involved firearms.

Fakhoury spoke with Adrienne Bankert on “Morning in America.” You can watch the full interview in the player below.

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