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Teen arrested for bringing loaded gun to school near this week's deadly shooting

ABC News
ABC News
 2021-12-02

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In the wake of Tuesday's deadly school shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan , a 17-year-old boy has been arrested for bringing a loaded gun to a nearby school.

The teen was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon on Wednesday at Southfield Regional Academic Campus, about 30 miles south of Oxford High School, after a classmate tipped off the principal, said Jeff Jagielski, a spokesperson for the Southfield Police Department.

The classmate told the principal that the teenager was known to carry a gun at school, but he did not know whether he had it with him Wednesday, Jagielski said. The classmate spoke up because of Tuesday's shooting at Oxford High School, Jagielski said.

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Scott Olson/Getty Images - PHOTO: A flag flies at half mast in Centennial Park in honor of the students and staff killed and wounded in the Nov. 30 shooting at Oxford High School on Dec. 2, 2021, in Oxford, Mich.

The principal alerted a school resource officer, who found the gun, loaded with three rounds, in the student's coat pocket, Jagielski said.

Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barren said the student is believed to have been bringing the Bersa Thunder 380 pistol to school for "several weeks," but insisted the student did not pose a threat to classmates or staff.

MORE: 4th student dies from Michigan school shooting; 15-year-old charged as adult

"There was no indication that there was any type of copycat situation or any type of threats to the school, but rather a poor decision by this young man to not only carry a weapon but to carry a weapon onto school property," Barren said.

The student allegedly told police he found the weapon "down the street" in some bushes, Jagielski said. Police ran the gun's serial number, which did not yield anything, leading authorities to believe the weapon was stolen.

A few months ago, the student was suspended after an argument with two classmates boiled over and he allegedly threatened to shoot them, officials said, though the teen was not arrested.

Police have turned the case over to the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office.

Other nearby schools have announced closures due to threats following Tuesday's shooting at Oxford High School, in which four were killed and seven were injured.

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Seth Herald/Reuters - A student embraces a Bridgewood Youth Pastor after saying a prayer for the community during a candlelight prayer vigil at Bridgewood Church, after the Nov. 30 deadly shooting at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., in Clarkston, Mich., Dec. 1, 2021.

Officials in Holly, about 25 miles from Oxford, announced that Holly Area Schools would close on Thursday and Friday.

At the end of the school day Wednesday, Holly's "district administration received multiple reports of a potential shooting threat against Holly Area schools that had been posted on social media," Superintendent Scott Roper and Chief of Police Jerry Narsh said in a joint statement.

"The police department has interviewed a number of students who have shared these posts. The investigation has produced no source for the original threat, but instead several second- and third-hand reports from individuals sharing what they heard others say," the officials said.

MORE: Michigan school shooting: What we know about the victims

The threat wasn't considered credible due to a lack of evidence, they said, "but given the extraordinary circumstances, we would like to take the next two days to ask our community to please share any information regarding any threats with school administration or the Holly police department at (248) 858-4911."

The West Bloomfield School District, about 25 miles from Oxford, said on its website: "Due to the serious nature of social media threats related to school shootings across Oakland County, the West Bloomfield School District will be closed PreK - 12, this Thursday, December 2, and Friday, December 3, 2021. ... All school-related events and activities are also canceled."

The suspected Oxford High School gunman, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, was charged as an adult. Crumbley has been charged with one count of terrorism causing death; four counts of first-degree murder; seven counts of assault with intent to murder; and 11 counts of possession of a firearm in commission of a felony, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said. Additional charges are possible, she said.

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Nic Aantaya/EPA via Shutterstock - PHOTO: People mourn near a growing memorial outside Oxford High School, a day after a deadly school shooting, in Oxford, Mich., Dec. 1, 2021.

The night before Tuesday's shooting, an undetermined number of students were said to have seen a video online warning of a shooting, a law enforcement official told ABC News.

Some students who saw the video stayed home from school, though no calls were placed to police regarding the video, the official said.

During Crumbley's first court appearance on Wednesday, Oakland County Sheriff's Lt. Tim Willis confirmed that videos were recovered from the suspect's phone. Willis said they included one video by Crumbley the night before the shooting, in which he allegedly "talked about shooting and killing students the next day at Oxford High School."

Investigators said they also recovered a journal from Crumbley's backpack that allegedly detailed a desire to kill students.

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Seth Herald/Reuters - Oxford High School students, along with community members, gather for a candlelight prayer vigil at Bridgewood Church to pray for the community in Clarkston, Mich., after a deadly shooting at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., Dec. 1, 2021.

According to the sheriff's office, "The suspect had been involved in a meeting over behavior issues the prior day and the day of the shooting."

"Nothing of concern was noted in his school file prior to the first meeting," the sheriff's office said. "There are also no documented cases of bullying of the suspect with the school."

Crumbley allegedly used his father's semi-automatic handgun, a 9mm Sig Sauer pistol. McDonald said prosecutors were considering charges against Crumbley's parents.

The Oxford Community Schools District said in a statement, "The result of the horrific attack at Oxford High School is four young lives lost and injury to six other students and one staff member. While this is a cost no community should bear the long-term impacts of this event cannot be comprehended."

"The response by our students, staff and first responders was heroic and undoubtedly saved lives," the district said. "Oxford Schools is fully participating in the ongoing Oakland County Sheriff’s Office investigation."

A judge entered a not guilty plea for Crumbley on Wednesday. His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 13.

ABC News' Will McDuffie contributed to this report.

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