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Oxford High School Shooter Pleads Guilty To 24 Counts, Including Murder And Terrorism

Oakland County, MI – The 16-year-old gunman who murdered four students and wounded seven other victims in a mass shooting at Oxford High School last year pleaded guilty to all 24 counts against him on Monday.

As a matter of policy, The Police Tribune no longer publishes the names or photos of school shooters so as not to contribute to fame-motivated attacks.

Hana St. Juliana, 14, Tate Myre, 16, Justin Shilling, 17, and Madisyn Baldwin, 17, were all murdered in the horrific mass shooting, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Prosecutors said no plea agreement had been reached prior to the suspect changing his pleas on Oct. 24, according to WDIV.

“Originally, we filed a notice of insanity and based on the conversations that we’ve had and a review of the discovery, we felt it appropriate to withdraw that and have him plead guilty today,” the gunman’s attorney, Paulette Michel Loftin told CNN.

The hearing marked the first occasion in which a school shooter in the United States has been convicted of terrorism, according to WDIV.

The suspect, who was 15 at the time of the Nov. 20, 2021 mass shooting and had been charged as an adult, also pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Prosecutors said the shooter personally chose the murder weapon he wanted to use and that he gave his father the funds to buy it for him, MLive reported.

The gunman had written about his plan in his journal prior to the attack.

“First off, I got my gun. It’s an SP2022 SIG Sauer 9mm,” he wrote, according to the Detroit Free Press. “Second, the shooting is tomorrow, I have access to the gun and ammo… the first victim has to be a pretty girl with a future so she can suffer like me.”

The gunman showed no emotion as he answered the judge’s questions and entered his guilty pleas on Monday.

He also told the court that his parents’ claims that the gun was secured and stored in a location where he couldn’t access it were false, the Detroit Free Press reported.

“It was not locked,” the gunman told the judge.

Loftin said her client is “definitely” remorseful for the mass killing and said he is now “taking accountability for his actions,” the Detroit Free Press reported.

“We have to all remember he is a 16-year-old boy,” she told reporters, noting that it was “a very scary situation today to be in front of a number of cameras, [to] hear the clicking, [and] to be in front of a judge.”

“It’s an extremely emotional day,” Loftin added. “I don’t think here are any words that could make [the victims’ families] feel better.”

The convicted killer is scheduled to appear before the judge again on Feb. 9, at which time a sentencing hearing is expected to be set, CNN reported.

Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Mark Keast previously told the court he couldn’t find “the words to describe how horrific” the surveillance footage of the mass shooting was, according to FOX News.

The gunman shot his fellow students at close range, hitting them in their necks, shoulders, and faces, the Daily Mail reported.

“He methodically and deliberately walked down a hallway, aimed the firearm at students and fired it,” Keast said, according to FOX News. “After children started running away from the defendant, he continued down the hallway, again at a deliberate and methodical pace, pointing and aiming inside classrooms and at students who hadn’t had the opportunity to escape.”

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard revealed last year that school officials sat down with the alleged gunman’s parents hours prior to the attack to discuss “concerning” behavior, WDIV reported.

Prosecutors said the suspect had been caught researching ammunition online during class one day prior, and that he was seen with a drawing of guns and blood with the words, “The thoughts won’t stop, help me,” the Detroit Free Press reported.

The suspect’s parents assured school officials during the meeting that they would get their son into mental health counseling, but they refused to take him home from school and insisted that he go back to class, prosecutors said.

After his parents left the building, the suspect went into a bathroom, took the gun out of his backpack, and began murdering his classmates, the Detroit Free Press reported.

He fired more than 30 rounds during the mass shooting, according to WDIV.

Sheriff Bouchard said his office did not receive any calls about the gunman prior to the attack.

“We received no information about this individual prior to the shooting,” the sheriff told WDIV. “We also were told that the school had some information or some contact with the individual. We had no information from the schools, but we have since learned that the schools did have contact with the student the day before and the day of the shooting for behavior in the classroom that they felt was concerning.”

The shooting occurred school shortly after 1 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2021.

More than 100 people called 911 to report the active shooter, Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe said, according to NBC News.

Officers had the suspect in custody within five minutes of the initial 911 call, he noted.

Sheriff Bouchard said deputies were able to apprehend the killer when he came out of a bathroom holding a loaded semiautomatic handgun, the Associated Press reported.

The weapon still had seven rounds, according to the sheriff.

“I believe they literally saved lives having taken down the suspect with a loaded firearm while still in the building,” Sheriff Bouchard said.

The shooter’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter after allegedly failing to take action to stop their son from carrying out the mass shooting, ABC News reported.

Prosecutors also said the couple ignored their son’s requests for help with his mental health and that they gave their son the gun that he used in the attack, WJBK reported.

Investigators said the Crumbleys withdrew $4,000 from an ATM and went into hiding inside a Detroit warehouse after news of the shooting broke, WDIV reported.

They were charged on Dec. 3, 2021, and warrants were issued for their arrests.

Their attorney said the couple planned to turn themselves in, but they failed to do so and skipped out on an arraignment hearing, CNN reported.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office’s (OCSO) fugitive team all deployed to locate the Crumbleys, WXMI reported.

Investigators tried to track them using their cell phones, but that lead ended when the Crumbleys shut their devices down, CNN reported.

The couple ultimately ended up at the downtown Detroit studio of 65-year-old artist Andrzej Sikora, who they had a “friendly relationship with,” Sikora’s attorney, Clarence Dass, told the Associated Press.

Dass said Sikora had no idea the Crumbleys were wanted and that he didn’t know they remained inside his studio after he closed up for the day.

Police honed in on the Crumbleys’ location after a Detroit business owner called 911 to report having seen a woman standing near “the suspect vehicle” in the parking lot of his business, Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe said at the time.

Investigators found the couple hiding on the first floor of the building where Sikora’s studio is located and took them into custody, the Associated Press reported.

“They appeared to be hiding in the building,” Detroit Police Chief James White told reporters after their arrests. “This isn’t indicative of turning themselves in…hiding in a warehouse.”

He said they were both “very distressed” after they were caught.

The Crumbleys are expected to go to trial in January of 2023, WDIV reported.

Loftin said it is possible her client will be called to testify during their trial, according to CNN.

In the meantime, the gunman and his parents are prohibited from communicating with each other due to a court order.

Jennifer and James Crumbley are being held on $500,000 bond each, MLive reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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