Oxford, MI – A 15-year-old Oxford High School sophomore pleaded not guilty to murder and terrorism charges Wednesday in connection with a mass shooting that left four of his peers dead and seven other victims wounded.
The alleged gunman, who is being charged as an adult, faces four counts of first-degree murder, one count of terrorism causing death, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, FOX News reported.
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.
The court ordered he be held at the Oakland County Jail without bond.
Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Mark Keast told the court he couldn’t find “the words to describe how horrific” the surveillance footage of the mass shooting is.
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 said witnesses told investigators they saw the shooter tugging on doors while shooting people, The Daily Beast reported.
“We know from visible evidence he shot through doors,” Sheriff Bouchard added.
Three students died from their wounds shortly after the attack.
They have been identified as 16-year-old Tate Myre, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana.
A fourth victim, 17-year-old Justin Schilling, died at a hospital Wednesday morning.
A 47-year-old teacher, a 17-year-old boy, and a 15-year-old boy have all been released from the hospital, FOX News reported.
Four other victims remain hospitalized.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said investigators have uncovered “a mountain of digital evidence” indicating the attack was “not just an impulsive act,” but had been planned out well in advance.
According to investigators, the suspect recorded a video discussing his plot the night before the mass shooting, the Daily Mail reported.
The footage was not posted online, Sheriff Bouchard said.
The suspect also allegedly had a journal in his backpack containing statements about shooting and killing other students, NBC News reported.
“There is an additional piece of evidence that hasn’t been released yet, but I can assure you it was troubling,” McDonald told WDIV. “It was disturbing and unfortunately he was allowed to go back to class.”
Sheriff Bouchard revealed Wednesday that school officials sat down with the alleged gunman’s parents hours prior to the attack to discuss “concerning” behavior, WDIV reported.
Details regarding the meeting and the student’s “concerning” behavior have not been released, but Sheriff Bouchard said his office did not receive any calls about the gunman prior to the shooting.
“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.”
McDonald said the suspect’s parents may also be charged in connection with the incident, according to WDIV.
Police said the 9mm Sig Sauer handgun used in the attack had been purchased by the suspect’s father just four days before the mass shooting, People reported.
The teen’s father also purchased three 15-round magazines at the same time, all of which have been recovered, Sheriff Bouchard confirmed Wednesday.
The shooting occurred school shortly after 1 p.m. on Nov. 30.
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.
“These victims, based on the early look at what we’ve got evidence wise, I think it was random,” the sheriff said Wednesday morning, according to the Associated Press. “Absolutely, unequivocally he was shooting to kill people.”
About 1,700 students attend Oxford High School, according to the Associated Press.
Investigators have not released a motive for the attack.
Detectives have found no evidence the alleged gunman was a victim of bullying, Sheriff Bouchard said during an update on Wednesday evening, according to WDIV.
The alleged gunman has refused to speak with investigators and his parents have hired an attorney, FOX News reported.
“There is no conversation that’s going on and no cooperation at that level,” Sheriff Bouchard said.
The alleged gunman’s probable cause hearing is set for Dec. 13, NBC News reported.