'Copycat' Threats at Michigan Schools Force Closures After Oxford Mass Shooting

Several high schools in the Detroit area canceled classes Thursday as they contend with threats in the wake of the Oxford High School shooting earlier this week.

More than a dozen districts in the area were closed Thursday, Detroit news station WXYZ reported.

The shooting in Oxford Township, a Detroit suburb, on Tuesday killed four students and injured several others.

The Bloomfield Hills School District announced that classes would be canceled Thursday. In a message posted on the district's website at 11 p.m. Wednesday, Superintendent Patrick Watson said the district and "other communities across the region have received numerous reports of threats of violence circulating on social media."

"The safety and security of our students is our top priority. We are in constant contact with Bloomfield Township Police who take every report or rumor seriously. We will follow up with you tomorrow with any updated information," Watson wrote.

Michigan's Holly Area Schools were also among those closed Thursday. Superintendent Scott Roper wrote that at the end of the school day on Wednesday, the "district administration received multiple reports of a potential shooting threat against Holly Area schools that had been posted on social media."

Roper said that at this point police believe the threat isn't credible because of a lack of evidence.

"We respectfully ask our students and community to stop sharing the threats on social media platforms. Doing this actually causes duplicative reports that tie up scarce resources and distract from the investigation," the superintendent said.

In a message on Facebook, the Holly Police Department wrote: "Making threats to shoot up a school is a crime. Sharing and posting unknown threats is extremely traumatizing to a community already traumatized by a very real tragedy."

The Holly Area Schools will be closed Thursday and Friday.

'Copycat' Threats At Michigan Schools Force Closures
Several high schools in the Detroit area canceled classes Thursday following threats in the wake of the Oxford High School shooting earlier this week. Above, candles burn at a makeshift memorial outside of Oxford High School on Wednesday. Scott Olson

At a school in Southfield, Michigan, on Wednesday, police arrested a student who brought a gun to school, The Detroit News reported. Officials said that they found a pistol in the student's pocket, and the student told police he had found the weapon, according to the newspaper. WXYZ reported that Southfield's schools were open on Thursday.

The news station listed nearly 50 school districts, high schools and other school campuses in the Detroit area that were closed on Thursday.

On Wednesday, prosecutors identified the suspect in the Oxford High School shooting as Ethan Crumbley. Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said that Crumbley, 15, will be charged as an adult with terrorism and first-degree murder.