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Official: Michigan boy discussed killing students in video

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Oxford High School shooting: Fourth student dies

By COREY WILLIAMS and ED WHITE

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a 15-year-old boy charged in a shooting at a Michigan high school recorded video night before violence in which he discussed killing students.

The revelation was made by Oakland County Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Willis during a court hearing for Ethan Crumbley.

Crumbley is accused of killing four students and injuring seven others Tuesday at Oxford High School. He’s charged as an adult with murder, attempted murder and terrorism causing death. Willis made the comments shortly before Crumbley was to be arraigned.

Authorities have not revealed a possible motive for the violence.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy was charged Wednesday with murder, terrorism and other crimes for a shooting that killed four fellow students and injured others at a Michigan high school.

Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald did not reveal a possible motive for Tuesday’s violence at Oxford High School and declined to comment when pressed about whether she believed the victims were specifically targeted. But she said the shooting was premeditated, based in part on a “mountain of digital evidence” collected by police.

Sheriff Mike Bouchard later told reporters that the boy’s parents had been summoned to the school before the violence. Bouchard wouldn’t discuss details of the behavior school officials were concerned about. The teen, Ethan Crumbley, who is now charged as an adult with murder, attempted murder and terrorism causing death, was in the meeting with his parents, Bouchard said.

“There is nothing that he could have faced that would warrant senseless, absolutely brutal violence on other kids,” he said.

Ethan Crumbley is accused of firing a semi-automatic handgun in a school hallway, roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit. At least seven other people were injured. It wasn’t immediately known if Crumbley had an attorney who could comment.

“This was not just an impulsive act,” McDonald said.

The shooting should be a wake-up call for new gun laws in a country that has become “desensitized to school shootings,” McDonald told reporters.

“We have to do better,” McDonald said without offering specific changes. “How many times does this have to happen? How many times?”

The charges were announced a few hours after investigators reported that a fourth student had died.

“What about all the children who ran, screaming, hiding under desks? … Those are victims, too, and so are their families and so is the community. The charge of terrorism reflects that,” the prosecutor said.

Deputies rushed to the school around lunchtime Tuesday and arrested Crumbley in a hallway within minutes of the shooting. His father bought the 9 mm Sig Sauer gun last week, according to the Oakland County sheriff.

McDonald strongly suggested that more charges will be filed.

“We are considering charges against both parents and we will be making a decision swiftly,” she said.

“Owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate,” she said.

The four students who were killed were identified as 16-year-old Tate Myre, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin and 17-year-old Justin Shilling.

After the attack, authorities learned of social media posts about threats of a shooting at the roughly 1,700-student school. The sheriff stressed how crucial it is for such tips to be sent to authorities, while also cautioning against spreading social media rumors before a full investigation.

Undersheriff Mike McCabe downplayed the significance of a situation in early November when a deer’s head was thrown off the school roof, which he said was “absolutely unrelated” to the shooting. The incident prompted school administrators to post two letters to parents on the school’s website, saying they were responding to rumors of a threat against the school but had found none.

Isabel Flores, a 15-year-old ninth grader, told Detroit television station WJBK that she and other students heard gunshots and saw another student bleeding from the face. They then ran from the area through the rear of the school, she said.

A concerned parent, Robin Redding, said her son, 12th-grader Treshan Bryant, stayed home Tuesday after hearing threats of a possible shooting.

“This couldn’t be just random,” she said.

Bryant said he had heard vague threats “for a long time now” about plans for a shooting.

At a vigil Tuesday night at LakePoint Community Church, Leeann Dersa choked back tears as she hugged friends and neighbors. Dersa has lived nearly all of her 73 years in Oxford. Her grandchildren attended the high school.

“Scared us all something terrible. It’s awful,” Dersa said of the shooting.

Pastor Jesse Holt said news of the shooting flooded in to him and his wife, including texts from some of the 20 to 25 students who are among the 400-member congregation.

“Some were very scared, hiding under their desks and texting us, ‘We’re safe, we’re OK. We heard gunshots, but we’re OK.’ They were trying to calm us, at least that’s how it felt,” he said.

___

Associated Press journalists Ryan Kryska, Mike Householder and David Aguilar in Oxford Township, Michigan; Kathleen Foody in Chicago; and Josh Boak in Rosemount, Minnesota, contributed to this report. AP researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York also contributed.

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Where are you most likely to catch COVID? New study highlights high risk locations

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Where are you most likely to catch COVID? New study highlights high risk locations

What are the odds of catching COVID-19 after a night at the movie theater? How about an afternoon at the gym, unmasked? Or an early morning jog in a neighborhood park?

It’s well known that certain places and activities carry varying risks of coronavirus exposure, but a new study takes away much of the guesswork, offering clear estimates instead.

Researchers behind the paper analyzed outbreaks and superspreader events and studied factors that hinder and aid the virus’ spread, to design a mathematical model that takes many factors into account before giving a percentage risk of infection.

The percentage isn’t a perfectly accurate estimate, but it helps answer several complex questions: In what situations am I mostly likely to catch COVID-19? Least likely? And how likely is “likely?”

Go into a crowded movie theater with poor ventilation and a mostly unmasked audience, and there’s a 14% chance of being infected, assuming everyone in the room is silent before, during and after the movie, according to the study data.

But if there are people talking throughout — potentially launching viral particles into the air as they do — the odds of infection when unmasked jump to 54%.

If the crowd is masked, the risk of infection drops to 5.3% without talking and 24% with talking.

Given that COVID-19 spreads primarily through airborne particles, masks, ventilation, the number of people in a room or building and time spent in that space all factor heavily in the equation.

Also critical is what’s happening around someone. Heavy exercise poses the most risk, followed by shouting and singing, then normal speaking. Least worrisome is the “silent” category.

Unsurprisingly, being outdoors, masked and surrounded by silence is the best way to avoid coronavirus, researchers found. And the opposite is true: heavy exercise in a poorly ventilated place packed with maskless people is a nearly surefire way to catch COVID-19 — it’s 99% effective.

But in between those two extremes are findings that may surprise some.

For example, working out for even a short amount of time in a well-ventilated gym carries a 17% chance of infection if masks aren’t in use.

And if it’s poorly ventilated? There’s a 67% chance.

In many situations, changing just one single factor can be the difference between being relatively safe or likely infected.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that along with wearing masks, getting vaccinated and keeping at least six feet apart, improved ventilation — including open windows, ceiling fans and portable air cleaners — can help curb the spread of COVID-19.

“With good ventilation, the concentration of virus particles in the air will be lower and they will leave your home faster than with poor ventilation,” the agency says.

But researchers concluded that many indoor facilities, businesses, schools, houses of worship — the buildings where we spend our daily lives — are not adequately designed or equipped to handle the pandemic.

“We urgently need to improve the safety of the air that we breathe across a range of environments,” researchers wrote in their paper. “Data from COVID-19 outbreaks consistently show that a large fraction of buildings worldwide have very low ventilation rates despite the requirements set in national building standards.”

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Wisconsin Assembly to vote to count infection as immunity

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Wisconsin Assembly to vote to count infection as immunity

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republicans who control the Wisconsin Assembly were set to approve a bill Tuesday that would require employers to count a prior COVID-19 infection as an alternative to vaccination and testing.

Republican backers maintain natural immunity is at least as effective as being vaccinated. Similar bills passed in Florida and Arkansas last year.

A number of Wisconsin medical groups, including the Wisconsin Medical Society, oppose the measure, arguing vaccination is the best way to protect against COVID-19 and it’s not clear how long natural immunity lasts. Data from the state health department shows unvaccinated people are hospitalized at a rate nearly 11 times higher than fully vaccinated people.

No groups have registered in support the proposal.

The Assembly was set to vote on the bill Tuesday. Approval would send the measure to the Senate, but Democratic Gov. Tony Evers almost certainly will veto it.

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PHOTOS: Snow covers Denver, up to 5 inches expected

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PHOTOS: Snow covers Denver, up to 5 inches expected

According to the National Weather Service in Boulder, Denver expects up to five inches of snow on Tuesday, January 25, 2022. The storm should taper off before 3 p.m. as the high only reaches 31 degrees. Winds could gust to 21 mph, and overnight lows will plummet to 12 degrees tonight.

Denver weather: Up to 5 inches of snow expected as storm wraps up by Tuesday afternoon

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