Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne for the first time detailed the school's response to Crumbley's behavior
In a tragically botched response to warning signs from Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley, school counselors accepted his claim that a graphic drawing was a plan for a video game just hours before his gun rampage, it has been revealed.
In a written statement released Saturday, Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne for the first time detailed the school's response to Crumbley's behavior.
At the first meeting of two meetings with a counselor and a staff member the week of the shooting, Crumbley said shooting sports were a hobby for his family, Throne said.
That meeting on Monday, the day before the shooting, had been called after a teacher spotted Crumbley searching for gun ammunition on his cell phone.
In a tragically botched response to warning signs from Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley (above at arraignment), school counselors accepted his claim that a graphic drawing was a plan for a video game just hours before his gun rampage
On the morning of Tuesday's shooting, during the second meeting with guidance counselors, Crumbley claimed his graphic drawings were part of a video game design and said he wanted to pursue a career in that field, the letter said.
According to guidance counselors, Crumbley was calm and worked on homework while staff tried to reach his parents and they traveled to the school to sit in on the meeting.
Counselors questioned Crumbley on the chilling note found on his desk that featured disturbing drawings depicting a gun, a bullet, blood, a shooting victim and a laughing emoji.
The note included the words: 'Thoughts won't stop, help me'; 'my life is useless' and 'the world is dead,' according to prosecutors.
Parents Jennifer and James Crumbley were immediately summoned to the school, but failed to ask if their son had the gun they had bought him, and left the school without Ethan, prosecutors said.
The parents also did not notify counselors that they had purchased a gun for their son recently during that meeting, Thorne said.
On the morning of Tuesday's shooting, during the second meeting with guidance counselors, Crumbley claimed his graphic drawings were part of a video game design
Parents Jennifer and James Crumbley were called into the meeting about the graphic drawing, but did not notify counselors that they had just purchased a gun for their son, Thorne said.
'Given the fact that the child had no prior disciplinary infractions, the decision was made he would be returned to the classroom rather than sent home to an empty house,' the superintendent said.
The Crumbleys failed to ask their son about the gun or check his backpack and 'resisted the idea of their son leaving the school at that time,' prosecutors said.
Instead, the teen returned to class and the shooting subsequently occurred.
Thorne said that Oxford Community Schools will hire a third-party investigator to review school officials' actions leading up to the shooting.
'Our community and our families deserve a full, transparent accounting of what occurred,' Throne wrote. 'We also plan to make regular updates to our families and community.'
The superintendent also praised the quick actions of educators and students, who quickly barricaded themselves into classrooms and other hiding spots as gunfire erupted in a busy hallway while students changed classes.
'The suspect was not able to gain access to a single classroom,' he wrote.
Despite this, four students were killed in the shooting spree: Tate Myre, 16, Hana St Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17.
Justin Shilling, 17, (left) died in the hospital on Wednesday morning and Tate Myre (right) died in the school on Tuesday
Madisyn Baldwin, 17, (left) and Hana St Juliana, 14, (right) died in Tuesday's shooting rampage at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit
Parents have repeatedly questioned whether the district did enough to address threats leading up to the shooting, following reports that many students were afraid to go to school due to rumors of an imminent shooting.
Throne wrote that the district is reviewing 'any and all communications' the district may have received before the shooting.
However, he added, previous incidents at the school -- including a severed deer head thrown from the roof weeks earlier -- 'are unrelated to the events of Nov. 30.'
Ethan Crumbley is being held without bond after being charged as an adult with murder, attempted murder and terrorism, among other crimes.
Jennifer and James Crumbley are being held in lieu of a $500,000 cash bond each on charges of involuntary manslaughter for alleged negligence in failing to prevent the shooting.
All three Crumbleys are being held in isolation under suicide watch at the Oakland County Jail. They have pleaded not guilty.
Timeline of Oxford High School Shooting:
Ethan's father James purchases the 9 mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 for Ethan from Acme Shooting Goods in Oxford.
His son was with him.
Jennifer posts a message on social media that read: 'Mom and son day testing out his new Xmas present.'
Teacher sees Ethan Crumbley searching about ammunition on his cell phone during class, leading to a meeting with the student.
His mother Jennifer is contacted about an 'inappropriate internet search.' The school followed up via email but received no response.
That same day, Jennifer texts Ethan 'lol I'm not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught,' Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said.
A teacher finds a chilling note on Ethan's desk that featured disturbing drawings depicting a gun, a bullet, blood everywhere, a shooting victim and a laughing emoji.
The note included the words: 'Thoughts won't stop, help me'; 'my life is useless' and 'the world is dead,' McDonald said.
Jennifer and James are immediately summoned to the school for a meeting.
They failed to ask if their son had the gun with him or where it was, and they failed to inspect his backpack for the gun, which he did have with him, McDonald said.
They left the school without Ethan.
Ethan allegedly shoots and kills four students
Jennifer texts Ethan 'don't do it.'
The shooting had already taken place.
James calls 911 to report the gun missing and said he thinks his son might have it.
Ethan is charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder and terrorism.
Prosecutor Karen McDonald signals that Ethan's parents are under scrutiny and said she hoped to announce charging decision 'in the next 24 hours.'
McDonald announces that Jennifer and James are charged with four counts each of involuntary manslaughter.
The couple were last seen near Rochester Hills before leading authorities on a manhunt for several hours.
They withdraw $4,000 from an ATM in the area before leaving the motel they had been staying at since Tuesday after the shooting.
The couple were scheduled to be arraigned at 4pm but stopped communicating with their attorneys, prompting state and federal officials to launch a manhunt.
Crumbleys' lawyers said their clients had left for their own safety and were not on the run.
Later in the day:
Oakland County sheriff complained after the charges were announced that he did not get an advance warning of the charges being filed against the pair and learned of them from media reports.
Jennifer and James did not show up to court, but their lawyer said they 'are returning' and 'would be turning themselves in to be arraigned.'
A tipster reports the Crumbleys' abandoned Kia in a neighborhood on the east side of Detroit.
A massive manhunt of the area leads to their capture in the basement of a nearby building - less than a mile from the Canadian border.
James and Jennifer are booked at the Oakland County Jail.
The Crumbleys appear for their video conference arraignment from separate rooms in the jail.
They each pleaded not guilty to all four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Judge Julie Nicholson set each parent's bond at $500,000, which must be paid in full.
They remain at Oakland County Jail after the virtual meeting, which is also where their son Ethan is being held.