DETROIT – James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of the teenager charged in the Oxford High School shooting were identified and arrested early Saturday in Detroit, more than two hours after a resident saw the vehicle. theirs and call the police.
Authorities have been searching for the Crumbleys since about noon Friday after they were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter in a fatal shooting at a Michigan high school. Their son, Ethan Crumbley, 15 years old, is accused of shooting dead 4 students and injured seven others at a suburban Detroit high school on Tuesday.
Crumbley’s parents were not available to make arrangements Friday afternoon in Rochester Hills, Michigan. US Police Department Release of “Wanted” poster and offer a reward for information leading to their arrest.
The investigation into the shooting and the search for the Crumbleys is directed by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Mike McCabe said the vehicle was found around 11:30 p.m. Friday.
“The owner of the building came in and saw the car in the back parking lot, knew it didn’t belong there and went to investigate,” McCabe told the Detroit Free Press, part of the USA TODAY Network.
The owner of the building immediately recognized the vehicle from information given by law enforcement, checked the matched license plate, and called 911.
By about 1:45 a.m., the Crumbleys were arrested.
Jennifer and James Crumbley were each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter after prosecutors said they bought their son a gun as a Christmas present.
During the hearing that began around noon, an Oakland County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant said the young parents were not in custody. The Oakland County fugitive team, along with several agencies, searched for the pair Friday night.
“Their act of fleeing and ignoring their attorneys certainly adds weight to the charges,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a statement Friday. “They can’t run away from their part in this tragedy.”
But the family’s attorney said the couple were not on the run from authorities and were returning to the area after leaving town briefly amid the chaos surrounding the tragedy.
Attorneys Smith and Mariell Lehman said: “The Crumbleys left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety. They are returning to an arranged area.”
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen said the gun was stored in an unlocked drawer in their home and Crumbley’s parents did not ask where it was when they were called to the school on the day of the shooting because of a disturbing drawing of their son making a McDonald’s gun at a news conference Friday.
Ethan Crumbley posted online about the gun and ammunition research while at school, McDonald said the investigation revealed. She was also allowed to return to the classroom on the day of the shooting after a meeting with her parents, she said.
“The facts of this case are too serious,” McDonald said.
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On Wednesday, Crumbley was charged as an adult with murder, terrorism and other charges that investigators described as a deliberate and methodical massacre.
When asked if her office was looking into the charges against any school officials, McDonald said the investigation was continuing.
“While the shooter is someone who entered the high school and pulled the trigger, there were other individuals who contributed to the events of November 30 and I also intend to hold them accountable,” she said. .
Here’s what we know on Friday:
At a press conference Friday, McDonald’s presented how Ethan Crumbley received other warning signs about weapons in the days leading up to the shooting.
McDonald said Ethan Crumbley was there when his father bought the 9mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 gun on November 26. On the same day, his son Crumbley posted a picture of the weapon online, calling it “the new beauty”. His mother said in a post the next day, “Mother and son day trying out his new Christmas present,” McDonald said.
McDonald said: “Obviously based on the shooter’s account (and) the mother’s account, it was his gun.
The 15-year-old suspect was also caught looking up ammunition online while at school before the shooting. McDonald’s said school officials contacted the boy’s mother about searching online, leaving voicemails and emails, but received no response. Instead, Crumbley’s mother texted him the same day, “LOL – League of Legends, I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught,” McDonald said.
Hours before the shooting, Crumbley was found with a disturbing drawing that included a gun and a person who appeared to be bleeding, McDonald said.
A teacher took a photo of the drawing and immediately contacted Crumbley’s parents. When the drawing was presented to a school counselor in the presence of Crumbley and his parents, McDonald said, Crumbley changed it.
A counselor told parents their son needed counseling, but Crumbley was able to return to class. McDonald said his parents did not ask him about the gun at the time, nor did they search his backpack.
“Of course, he shouldn’t have gone back to that classroom,” McDonald added.
After reporting on the school shooting, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, “Ethan don’t do that,” McDonald said. James Crumbley drove home to search for the gun and called 911 to report it missing, saying he believed his son was the shooter, McDonald said.
“I’m angry as a mother. I’m angry as a prosecutor. I’m angry as someone who lives in this county. I’m angry. There are so many things that could be so simple. to prevent,” McDonald said.
Copy threats circulating on social media and school districts canceled classes on Thursday out of an abundance of caution for student safety.
A 17-year-old student from Southfield, about 30km from Oxford High School, was arrested on Thursday with a semi-automatic pistol. A bomb threat was also made at South Lake High School, about 45 miles from Oxford, and prompted an investigation by police.
“If you’re threatening, we’ll find you,” Bouchard said at a Thursday news conference specifically called to address an estimated hundreds of reported mimic threats. “It’s ridiculous that you’re fanning the fears and passions of parents, teachers and the community in the middle of a real tragedy.”
The FBI and Secret Service are also investigating the threats.
McDonald’s said those who make false threats could face charges of false terrorist threats, a 20-year felony, and malicious use of a phone.
Meanwhile, parents are on the right track in ensuring their children’s security without compromising their child’s mental and emotional health.
Jill Dillon, 51, recalls dropping her 14-year-old son to school on Wednesday morning. “It’s nauseating, to think that I have to get him somewhere safe, and will he really be safe?”
David Roden, a 14-year-old freshman at Northville High School, which remains open Thursday, said the confusion between what is real and what isn’t is the scariest part.
“Everybody has an advantage. It’s just kind of weird, close to the situation,” he said.
– Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press
Fake social media accounts claiming to be the 15-year-old charged in the Oxford High School shooting began to emerge even before his name was released by law enforcement, and some made threats of Additional shootings and revenge plans.
While direct threats can lead to criminal charges, the spread of misinformation through deceptive accounts is a common problem following mass shootings, which often go unpunished. violate the law and sometimes do not violate the terms of service of social media platforms.
“Unfortunately, poor taste is not against the law,” said Lt. Mike Shaw of the Michigan State Police.
Cliff Lampe, a professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, said none of the social media accounts documenting Crumbley’s alleged criminal activity were still active on these platforms.
In active threat situations, the social media accounts of the alleged perpetrators are taken down through an opaque process, Lampe said. Platforms are alerted by their own algorithms or by law enforcement.
Lampe said the trend of social media platforms to make some user accounts “disappear overnight” could help create these fake accounts. However, the common practice of setting up “sock puppets” online will happen despite, he said.
“Puppet accounts and fake accounts have been part of internet culture for as long as the internet has,” Lampe said. Read more here.
– Ashley Nerbovig, Detroit Free Press
Contributors: Darcie Moran, Tyler J. Davis, Phoebe Wall Howard, Elisha Anderson, Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press; Related press