Two Michigan school teachers raised red flags over accused high school shooter Ethan Crumbley’s “disturbing” and “concerning” behavior — but administrators allowed him to return to class just hours before the deadly rampage, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told CNN’s “New Day” Thursday.
Crumbley, 15, was first reprimanded at Oxford High School on Monday after “a teacher in the classroom where he was a student saw and heard something that she felt was disturbing in terms of his behavior,” Bouchard said.
“They had a counseling session about it with school officials and a phone call was left with the parents,” Bouchard said.
“The day of the shooting, a different teacher in a different classroom saw some behavior that they felt was concerning and they brought the child down to an office, had a meeting with school officials, called in the parents,” the sheriff said. “And ultimately it was determined that he could go back into class.”
Bouchard added that the decision “will all be part of the investigation in terms of what they thought and why they thought that was the right step.”
Within about three hours, Crumbley allegedly emerged from a school bathroom with a semi-automatic handgun, shooting 11 people and killing four students.
Bouchard said school officials and police were unaware at the time that Crumbley had made “horrendously disturbing” videos the night before the shootings.
“Obviously he talked about what he intends to do and the kinds of things he’s thinking about,” the sheriff said. “It’s just chilling.”
Crumbley echoed the disturbing comments in a journal in his backpack, police said.
School district officials have not commented on the case or the meetings at the school.
Bouchard said prosecutors are still weighing charges against Crumbley’s parents.
The teen’s father, James Crumbley, purchased the 9mm handgun four days earlier, and both parents advised their son not to cooperate with police and retained a lawyer.
Bouchard noted that “at this point, we don’t have any information that they knew that this was a path he was headed” but said it’s part of the investigation.
The sheriff also reiterated that there is no evidence that Crumbley had been bullied prior to the attack, despite some earlier reports to the contrary.
“But I also want to say this,” he said. “While bullying is terrible and we investigate it and it should never happen, nothing that we saw on that day of the tragedy in taking these lives and marring forever everyone else could rise to any kind of acceptable response to anything that he felt had happened to him.”