Prosecutor does not rule out charging school officials following Michigan shooting

"A lot could have been done different" prior to the Michigan high school shooting, prosecutor Karen McDonald said.

Updated: December 6, 2021 - 5:04pm

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Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald is leaving open the possibility of charging Oxford High School officials following a shooting in the Detroit-area school on Tuesday.

Four students died and seven people were wounded in the shooting. Ethan Crumbley, 15, is being charged as an adult. His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are both being held on $500,000 bond and face four counts of involuntary manslaughter

"Any chance the school could face charges?" George Stephanopoulos asked McDonald during an interview on "Good Morning America."

"That's an investigative process that I'll leave to law enforcement. I can tell you that there is outrage in the community. I can tell you that we all should be looking at the events that led up to that horrific event and as a community, as a school, as a nation, talk about what we could have done different so that didn't happen," McDonald replied.

She continued: "In this case, a lot could have been done different. I mean that meeting, he was allowed to go back to school. We know that he either had that weapon with him or someplace that he could have stored it in the school, but he had it in the school. There is no question… And leaving the decision to parents about whether he goes home or not." 

The Crumbley family met with school officials to discuss Ethan's behavior both hours prior to and the day before the shooting.

"You can't even in an airport mention anything that even remotely indicates that there might be some sort of violence on a plane. You'll be immediately extracted, and yet, we have a kid who is… saying some pretty concerning things and he was allowed to go back to school, and neither parent mentions that he had access to a weapon," McDonald told Stephanopoulos. "It's not just tragic. It's not just disappointing. I believe it's criminal."

The weapon allegedly used in the attack was legally purchased by James Crumbley for his son as an early Christmas present. "The evidence shows at this point that he absolutely had free access to that weapon, and in fact, it was purchased for him," the prosecutor said. "The parents are responsible, and I think that they should be held accountable. None of that would have happened if he had not had access to a handgun."

McDonald explained how all current school safety procedures were properly followed during the shooting. "In this case, everything was done perfectly, except that four kids were still murdered and several others injured, not to mention the hundreds of other kids who were in that school and their lives will never be the same, nor will the community," she said.