OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) – A week after deciding to hold off on a full investigation of the deadly Oxford High School shooting, school board members changed their minds.
The Oxford Community Schools Board of Education voted on Tuesday to hire an independent law firm to conduct a thorough review of the circumstances leading to the Nov. 30 shooting, which left four students dead.
Six other students and a teacher sustained injuries during the incident. No timeline for the investigation was announced during the school board meeting.
This week’s decision is a reversal of a decision made last week to delay the third-party investigation until all criminal and civil litigation stemming from the shooting is complete, which likely will take years.
Parents, students and community members expressed frustration last week with delaying the investigation, so the school board scheduled a special meeting on Tuesday to reconsider.
The Oxford school board twice has rejected offers from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to conduct the investigation. She is concerned that the upcoming investigation will not lead to complete transparency if the law firm claims attorney-client privilege.
“In my ongoing conversations with members of the Oxford community, it has remained clear that those impacted by this horrific tragedy want nothing more than a thorough investigation that can help identify ways to improve school safety for Oxford and all communities across our state,” Nessel said. “If the board members are truly listening to the community that elected them, they will commit to waiving any and all privilege at the outset.”
A 16-year-old sophomore is accused of killing four students at Oxford High School on Nov. 30: 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin, 17-year-old Justin Shilling, 16-year-old Tate Myre and 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana.
The suspect is facing four counts of first-degree murder, one count of terrorism causing death, seven counts of assault with intent to murder and several weapons charges. He remains in the Oakland County Jail with no bond offered.
The suspect’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, remain in jail on four counts apiece of involuntary manslaughter. They are accused of making the alleged murder weapon available to their son and failing to get him mental health treatment.
The Oxford school board approved a permanent memorial to the four students who died in the shooting this week.