Ethan Crumbley pleads guilty to Michigan school shooting

The teenager killed four classmates at Oxford High School in November 2021

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A Michigan teenager on Monday pleaded guilty to murder and terrorism charges after killing four pupils at Oxford High School last year.

Ethan Crumbley, 16, is accused of the shooting at the secondary school on November 30, using a semi-automatic handgun that his father had purchased for him as a Christmas present.

Crumbley pleaded guilty to 24 charges, including one charge of terrorism causing death, 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.

The ages of Crumbley's victims ranged from 14 to 17. Six other classmates and a teacher were also wounded in the shooting.

Crumbley was asked by the judge if he “knowingly, wilfully and deliberately” chose to shoot pupils at the school.

“Yes,” he replied, looking down and nodding in affirmation.

Crumbley previously pleaded not guilty to the charges but changed his plea during Monday's hearing.

An Oakland County prosecutor said Crumbley did not receive a plea deal.

First-degree murder convictions typically carry an automatic life-in-prison sentence in Michigan, but teenagers are entitled to a hearing where their lawyers can argue for a shorter term and possibly parole.

His parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, were also charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter related to the shooting.

Hours before the shooting on November 30, a teacher discovered a drawing Ethan Crumbley had done depicting a gun pointing at the words: “The thoughts won't stop. Help me.” There was also one of a bullet with the message: “Blood everywhere.”

His parents declined to take their son home from school that day, investigators found.

The teenager had brought a semi-automatic handgun and 50 rounds of ammunition to school. He went into the bathroom, took out his weapon and began shooting in the hallway.

Within minutes, deputies rushed in and Crumbley surrendered.

The judge overseeing the case set a February 9 start date for hearings to determine whether Crumbley will be sentenced to life without parole or receive a shorter sentence due to his age.

Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: October 24, 2022, 4:27 PM
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