Dana Nessel pledges resources for Oxford High School shooting investigation
OXFORD, Mich. (FOX 2) - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said she's disappointed after The Oxford Community School District turned down her offer to investigate the events that led up to the shooting last week.
Attorney General Dana Nessel said she was "extremely disappointed" by the district's decision, which came days after the superintendent said he planned to request a third-party probe. Instead, according to Nessel, they'll be using a private security firm.
"I'm going to go out to Oxford, and I'm going to sit down and talk to as many people there who will sit down and talk to me," Nessel said.
The attorney general offered the power of the state's office as a third-party investigator into possible missteps in the handling of alleged shooter 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley.
"They essentially indicated they had a private security firm that they were contracting with and then declined our offer," she said.
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Nessel is concerned by this development because she says, sometimes, those third party investigators are law firms, that are there to shield the schools from civil lawsuits from victims that are likely to come.
"Candidly, that's been our experience in the past when we have these situations but, again, I don't want to cast any judgement on the Oxford Community Schools right now," Nessel said.
The Oxford School district has promised an independent review of the shooting and the days leading up to the tragedy. One of those is counselors who sent Crumbley back to class on Tuesday, Nov. 30, after drawing violent pictures. The day before, investigators said he was caught looking up gun ammo in class.
While the attorney general's office has not yet launched a formal investigation, she's pledging resources to Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald.
Last week, McDonald said people have a right to be angry at anyone who could have done something to stop this and did not.
Nessel said she's not ruling out criminal charges against school officials, but it's not her case right now.
"First and foremost, Karen McDonald is leading this case - it's not the department of attorney general - but we do have a close relationship," she said.
Nessel said she's meeting with Oxford families and will revisit later if a full-blown investigation will be launched.
"What we can't do is nothing. It's not appropriate," Nessel said.
A formal complaint was filed with Nessel's office to urge her to investigate the case. That may be the nudge that Nessel needs to launch the investigation.