Oakland County Prosecutor advocates for independent investigation into Oxford school shooting

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald has lent her support to those who have called for an independent review of events leading up to the deadly shooting at Oxford High School last fall.
Photo credit Bill Pugliano / Stringer/ Getty

OAKLAND COUNTY (WWJ) - Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald has lent her support to those who have called for an independent review of events leading up to the deadly shooting at Oxford High School last fall.

McDonald told WWJ Newsradio 950 reporter Jon Hewitt that there is no reason an independent review shouldn't be done at this time.

"I think we owe it to the parents and students in that school to know what could have gone differently other than obviously the criminal actions of the three people that I'm prosecuting," she said.

McDonald is currently preparing her cases against the alleged Oxford shooter, Ethan Crumbley, 15, and his parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley.

Oxford High School was shoved into the national spotlight last fall when the 15-year-old student allegedly open-fired on classmates in a hallway.

Crumbley is accused of killing four students; six students and a teacher were also wounded.

Crumbley faces a slew of charges, including terrorism and first degree murder.

The teen and his parents are all being held at the Oakland County Jail separately and have no contact with one another, officials said.

"Most school shootings, including Sandy Hook and Parkland, there are commissions convened — independent, nonpartisan — and a thorough study is done to determine what, if anything, could have gone differently."

McDonald's support for an independent review comes a month after Attorney General Dana Nessel offered the Oxford School district to conduct a third party investigation for the second time.

Nessel first offered back in December, stating her office was “uniquely qualified” to “perform an investigation of this magnitude and are prepared to perform an extensive investigation and inquiry to answer the many questions the community has regarding this tragedy.”

Nessel said after meeting with parents and families in the Oxford community, she argued for transparency and the board of education has an obligation to provide it.

"The listening session with parents and students in Oxford was incredibly informative," Nessel wrote in her letter to the school board, which was released in mid-April. "Though there were a wide array of opinions expressed, the overwhelming concern shared by all in attendance was a deep desire to learn more about what happened."

McDonald called for the formation of an advisory commission that would bring local law enforcement, school officials, parents and others together to review the Oxford case.

Crumbley's trial date is scheduled to begin September 6, 2022; he is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on May 19.