Gunshots are fired again at a school in the United States. Youngsters die again. The sheriff speaks of a cold-blooded act. The alleged perpetrator, himself only 15, should be treated legally.
The alleged gunman at Oxford High School, Michigan, recorded a video of his murder plans the night before the crime, according to police. In the video, the 15-year-old talked about shooting students at his school the next day, said police officer Tim Willis from the Oakland sheriff’s office on Wednesday when the suspect was first seen by a magistrate.
Judge Nancy Carniak ordered the suspect to be transferred from a youth facility to a county jail, where he would remain isolated from other inmates. The accused was connected via video.
Prosecutor Karen McDonald had previously announced that the 15-year-old suspect would be charged as an adult. The tenth grader was accused of, among other things, terrorism resulting in death and fourfold first-degree murder, she said. Under Michigan law, juveniles could be charged as adults in such particularly serious crimes. “First degree murder is the worst of all these crimes.”
Mourners at a memorial service at Oxford High School: At least four students were shot dead. (Source: Paul Sancya / AP / dpa)
After viewing evidence, she was sure that it was a deliberate act. For procedural reasons, she could not comment on the details. The prosecutor said she had promised the father of one of the victims “that I would treat this case as if it were my own children”.
Four students killed, six injured
The shooter opened fire on Tuesday at Oxford High School north of the metropolis of Detroit. Four of his classmates, aged between 14 and 17, were killed. Six other students and a teacher were shot injured. The perpetrator was arrested. His motive is unclear. According to the police, he refused to testify.
Sheriff Mike Bouchard said Wednesday the police had no information about the suspect prior to the crime. However, it was later learned that representatives of the school had been in contact with the student the day before and on the day of the crime, “because they considered his behavior in the classroom to be questionable”. The parents of the accused were still on the morning of the crime for a personal interview with school representatives in the high school. “The content of this meeting is obviously part of the investigation.”
Mourning in Michigan: Four students were shot dead in a high school. (Source: Seth Herald / Reuters)
Bouchard said the shooter fired more than 30 shots on Tuesday. When he was arrested, he still had 18 unused cartridges with him. “It is clear that he came with the intention of killing people. He shot people from close range, often on the head or the chest,” Bouchard said in an interview with CNN.
Video material is evaluated
The exercises at the secondary school for such a case and the rapid intervention of the police would have saved lives on Tuesday, Bouchard emphasized. After the alarm in the school, the shooter tried to gain access to barricaded classrooms and even shot through doors. He is also said to have tried to impersonate a police officer, as shown on CNN video footage of students.
When the 15-year-old later saw the emergency services in a hallway, he raised his hands, said Sheriff Bouchard. The officers then took away his weapon and arrested him. The high school is attended by around 1,800 students. There are no metal detectors there. It is expected that the investigation could take longer as officers would have to view a lot of video footage and interview hundreds of people, Bouchard said. According to media reports, the responsible public prosecutor said that her office would quickly bring charges.
Parents pick up their children at a school after the shooting: A 15-year-old shot around in Michigan. (Source: Eric Seals-USA TODAY NETWORK / Reuters)
The police said they had confiscated a handgun belonging to the alleged perpetrator’s father. It is still unclear how the perpetrator got hold of the weapon that was acquired just a few days ago. Bouchard said it could not be ruled out that charges could be brought against the parents. During a search of the parents’ house, documents were found that, according to first impressions, allowed insight into the boy’s thoughts before the crime, Bouchard said.
Biden expressed sympathy with loved ones
Fatal incidents continue to occur in the United States because shooters open fire in schools. That is why many schools have such crisis scenarios practiced on a regular basis to ensure that students are prepared in the event of an emergency.
Gun law in the United States differs from state to state, but firearms such as pistols and assault rifles are usually relatively easy to come by. Stricter gun laws usually fail because of the Republicans in Congress and the powerful gun lobby. US President Joe Biden has announced measures to curb armed violence, but so far without concrete results.
Biden expressed his condolences to the families of the victims at Oxford High School. “My thoughts go with the families who have endured the unimaginable pain of losing a loved one,” he said during a visit to Minnesota. Michigan’s Governor Whitmer called the act “terrible” on Twitter on Tuesday and ordered all flags in the state to be lowered to half-mast. She shared, “We have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect one another and we have the means to reduce gun violence. Nobody should be afraid to go to school, work, or even a place of worship own house to go. “