After Michigan authorities announced on Thursday that an eighth-grader had a gun and was planning on hurting himself and others on Monday, a suburban school district has canceled classes for this week. Michigan Department of Public Safety officials confirmed to local media outlets that the alleged shooter was a student at St. Anthony Catholic High School in Pontiac. Schools officials in Pontiac and nearby Sterling Heights closed their doors on Thursday.
Two police agencies are currently hunting the alleged shooter, as well as a suspect, who has not yet been identified. As of Thursday evening, the school district’s superintendent denied that St. Anthony had ever been linked to any threats like the one that forced the evacuation on Monday. The stated, and still unconfirmed reason for the suspected gunfire was that both teens were battling with another fellow student.
The same afternoon, Pontiac police issued a “voluntary stop order” for a vehicle in which the alleged shooter was riding. Police from Sterling Heights, as well as the Pontiac Fire Department, reportedly approached the vehicle to confirm that a “male subject is believed to be the male wanted in relation to the threat” in the district of St. Anthony Catholic High School.
Police recovered the vehicle a short time later. A police report has since been filed with the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday, and the case is still under investigation. However, a video posted to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Facebook page Monday afternoon may have revealed that before the shooting, a 911 call was received about a suspicious vehicle and occupied house near St. Anthony Catholic High School.
According to the Washington Post, the neighborhood where the driver and three passengers were located is a “suburb of Pontiac,” and is full of middle-class homes. The driver was interviewed, but has not been named.
Just a few months before the alleged school shooting, a 14-year-old student named Ethan Crumbley was shot three times by a 14-year-old classmate. A week after the shooting, one of the wounded classmates said that Crumbley had been bullied by that same friend.
“All of the kids knew it was (one of the boys) who had been bullying Ethan,” the middle school student said, who was not identified in the Michigan press. “I felt like every day at lunch he picked on Ethan. He would tell Ethan that he looked at him funny. He would make fun of my voice. I would tell Ethan to tell his friend he couldn’t look at him funny, he couldn’t make fun of him.”
This is a developing story. We’ll update as more information becomes available.
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