Michigan teen gets life in prison for 2021 school shooting

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Ethan Crumbley is escorted out of court in Pontiac, Michigan, U.S., December 8, 2023. /CFP

Ethan Crumbley is escorted out of court in Pontiac, Michigan, U.S., December 8, 2023. /CFP

A teenager who fatally shot four classmates two years ago at his high school outside Detroit was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Friday, following hours of harrowing testimony from his victims’ grieving family members and friends.

Ethan Crumbley was 15 years old when he opened fire at Oxford High School on November 30, 2021, with a semi-automatic handgun his father had bought him as a Christmas gift days earlier. Six other students and a teacher were also wounded.

Meanwhile, Crumbley’s parents have also been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting, in one of the first U.S. cases that seeks to hold parents accountable for their child’s school shooting.

Oakland County Circuit Judge Kwame Rowe rejected defense lawyers’ request for the possibility of parole, calling the massacre a “true act of terrorism.”

“This act involved extensive planning, extensive research, and he executed on every last one of the things he planned,” Rowe said.

Crumbley addressed the judge briefly, taking responsibility for his actions and promising to work on becoming a better person, regardless of his sentence.

“All I want is for the people I hurt to have a final sense of culpability that justice has been served,” he said.

Over the course of more than four hours, relatives of the victims and survivors of the attack detailed their daily struggles to move past the shooting. Some students said they grow uncontrollably anxious in crowded or enclosed spaces; others described having trouble maintaining friendships or attending class.

(With input from Reuters)

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