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Student becomes fourth person to die in Michigan school shooting as suspect is identified, charged with murder

Justin Shilling, 17, died around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday at McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac.
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A 17-year-old student is the fourth victim to die in a shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan as murder charges were announced against the teenage suspect.

The suspect, Ethan Crumbley, 15, was charged Wednesday with 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.

He is being charged as an adult and was arraigned later Wednesday.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said at a news conference that the shooting Tuesday at Oxford High School was planned, "not just an impulsive act."

"There is a mountain of digital evidence — videotape, social media, all digital evidence possible — and it absolutely, we are confident that we can show it was premeditation," she told reporters.

The charges came shortly after authorities announced that the fourth victim had died — Justin Shilling, 17.

Shilling died around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday at McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office said.

Authorities previously identified the three other students who were killed as Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; and Tate Myre, 16.

Seven other people were seriously wounded and taken to hospitals, including a teacher, Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. Three had been were released by Wednesday afternoon, and two teenagers remained in serious condition.

The shooting happened just before 1 p.m. Authorities said more than a hundred 911 calls came in to dispatch.

Investigators allege that Crumbley began shooting after he left a bathroom and that he remained in the school's hallway until he was detained.

Undersheriff Michael McCabe had said the suspect was in custody within five minutes of deputies’ arrival. The suspect was denied bond and will be transferred to the Oakland County Jail, where he will be isolated from other inmates.

During Wednesday's news conference, McDonald talked about how students, teachers and staff members sought shelter as shots rang out.

"When the shooting started yesterday, the students and teachers and staff in the school had to act quickly to save their own lives," she said.

"Law enforcement and all of the first responders had to act quickly to prevent more lives from being lost and get help for those who had been shot," McDonald said, adding that the suspect was being charged with terrorism because the people had to flee and hide.

"What about all the other children who ran, screaming, hiding under desks? What about all the children at home right now who can't eat and can't sleep and can't imagine a world where they can ever step foot back in that school?" she said. "Those are victims, too, and so are their families, and so is the community. And the charge of terrorism reflects that."

Prosecutors considering charges against suspect's parents

The handgun believed to have been used was recovered. Investigators said they believe the suspect's father bought the 9 mm Sig Sauer handgun Friday, Bouchard said.

Bouchard said Wednesday morning on CNN that it is clear that the shooter "came out with the intent to kill people."

"He was shooting people at close range, oftentimes towards the head or chest," he said. "It's just absolutely cold-hearted murderous. And our forensic team was working all night, and so far I believe they recovered over 30 shell casings. So we believe he fired at least 30 shots."

Eighteen live, unfired rounds were found after the suspect was detained. Police found seven in his pocket, and 11 more were discovered later in a magazine, Bouchard said.

Bouchard said that the suspect's parents have asked for a lawyer and that, under Michigan law, authorities cannot speak with a juvenile without parental permission.

"They have refused that permission," he said. "So we can’t get the motive from the suspect that we have in custody, but we think we’ve got a path to get a lot of supportive information as to how and why this occurred."

Because they have not yet been able to question the suspect, investigators are still unclear about what motive he may have had, Bouchard added.

"There is nothing that he could have faced that would warrant senseless, absolutely brutal violence on other kids," he said.

Crumbley's parents had been asked to speak with the school Monday and Tuesday, before the shooting, to discuss "concerning" classroom behavior, Bouchard said.

During an appearance on CNN, he said that a day before the shooting a teacher "saw and heard something that she felt was disturbing in terms of his behavior."

Bouchard did not elaborate on what that behavior was but said there was a counseling session about it with school officials.

On Tuesday, prior to the shooting, a different teacher "saw some behavior that they felt was concerning" and brought Crumbley to the office.

Bouchard said there was a meeting with school officials and Crumbley's parents were called but "ultimately it was determined that he could go back into class."

"That’s obviously part of our investigation. We were never informed of either meeting prior to the shooting or that there were any concerns about behavior," he said on CNN.

The high school's anti-bullying coordinator previously told investigators that the school did not have records that the suspect had any history of being bullied.

It did not appear that students were individually targeted.