Oxford High School shooting: Superintendent clarifies what district knew, didn't know about Ethan Crumbley

Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne clarified details about the Oxford School shooting, calling claims that have been made "irresponsible."

In a letter posted Tuesday, Throne addressed several claims that have been made about the shooting, including what the district knew about suspected shooter, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, prior to the mass murder.

Related: Ethan Crumbley in court for hearing

oxford hs and crumbley

Ethan Crumbley, inset, was charged as an adult with the Oxford High School mass shooting.

"The school district will respond in detail to the false allegations and reckless statements made by Mr. Fieger," Throne wrote. "The county prosecutor has asked that the school district not unduly comment upon the details surrounding the case in order to avoid any interference with the criminal proceedings."

Incidents before Oxford school shooting

A lawsuit filed by Geoffrey Fieger alleges that the district failed to protect students and noted several incidents that happened leading up to the shooting. 

For instance, the lawsuit said that Crumbley brought a jar with a bird's severed head to school Nov. 11. Throne said a bird head was found in a jar in a bathroom and investigated by police. However, the school and police were unable to figure out who placed the jar there, and it was determined there was no threat to the school, Throne said.

Prosecutors said Crumbley did keep a bird head in a jar in his room, but that jar found at the school was never linked to the teen prior to the shooting.

MORE: Ethan Crumbley's parents ignored signs of violence for months, prosecutor says

Throne also said that any reports that ammunition was found at Oxford High School prior to the shooting "are completely false."

He also addressed an incident where a deer head was found at the school Nov. 4. He said police investigated, and the incident was not related to Crumbley at all.

After the shooting, photos of social media posts surfaced. These posts showed Crumbley holding the gun used in the shooting. Throne said the district was not aware of these posts before the shooting.


A social media post attributed to mass shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley days before the teen allegedly carried out his attack at Oxford HS.

He added that all OK2SAY tips received between Nov. 1-30 were sent to police and investigated. He said there was a message tip received that a student who no longer attended the school had put the bird head in the bathroom.

Actions during Oxford school shooting

A meeting was held with Crumbley and his parents the morning of the shooting after a teacher found alarming drawings on a test. 


Throne said that high school administration and Pam Fine did not speak with Crumbley on the day of the shooting. He said that meeting only included a counselor and the dean of students.

He said that after the shooting, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office took over school communications when they secured the scene, which he says limited the ability that administrators had to share information.

He also commended school administration: "Our high school administration, including Principal Steve Wolf, Kristy Gibson-Marshall, and Kurt Nuss ran toward the incident to effectively save children, administer aid to injured parties, and to locate the perpetrator, putting themselves in harm’s way."