Oxford High School: Parents of Accused Suspect

PONTIAC, MICH. – A prosecutor filed involuntary manslaughter charges Friday against the parents of a teenager who allegedly killed four students at a Michigan high school, saying they did not interfere on the day. tragedy struck despite being confronted with a drawing and chilling message – “blood everywhere” – that was found at the boy’s desk.

James and Jennifer Crumbley engaged in “serious” behavior, from buying a gun on Black Friday and getting Ethan Crumbley ready to fight his expulsion when they were summoned hours before it happened. shooting, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said.

“I wish parents and everyone with the humanity to step in and prevent a possible tragedy,” she said. “The conclusion I draw is that there is absolute reason to believe that this individual is dangerous and disturbed.”

By mid-afternoon, authorities said they were looking for the couple. Police Chief Mike Bouchard said their attorney, Shannon Smith, had agreed to make arrests if charges were filed but could not be reached.

Smith, however, said the Crumbleys were not on the run and had left town earlier in the week “for their own safety.”

“They’re going back to the pre-arranged area,” Smith told the Associated Press.

Earlier, the prosecutor gave the most accurate explanation to date for the events leading up to the shooting, three days after four students were killed and others injured at Oxford High School, how Detroit is about 30 miles (50 km) north.

Ethan Crumbley, 15, emerged from the bathroom with a gun and shot students in the hallway, investigators said. He was charged as an adult with murder, terrorism and other charges.

Under Michigan law, an involuntary manslaughter charge against a parent may be prosecuted if authorities believe someone contributed to a situation that is more likely to result in harm or death.

Parents in the United States are rarely charged with school shootings involving their children, even when most minors take firearms from the home of a parent or relative, according to experts. family.

McDonald’s said school officials were concerned about Crumbley on Monday, the day before the shooting, when a teacher saw him searching for ammunition on his phone.

Jennifer Crumbley was contacted and later told her son in a text message: “Lol. I do not angry with you. You have to learn not to get caught,” according to the prosecutor.

On Tuesday, a teacher found a notepad on Ethan’s desk and took a photo. It was a drawing of a gun pointed at the words, “Thoughts won’t stop. Help me out,” said McDonald.

She said there was also a drawing of a bullet with the words above it: “Blood everywhere.”

Between the gun and the bullets was a man who appeared to have been shot twice and was bleeding. He also wrote, “My life is useless” and “The world is dead,” according to the prosecutor.

The school promptly met with Ethan and his parents, who were asked to offer him counseling within 48 hours, McDonald said.

The Crumbleys did not ask their son about the gun or check his backpack and were “resistance to the idea of ​​their son leaving school at the time,” McDonald said.

Instead, the teen returned to the classroom and the ensuing shooting occurred.

“The notion that a parent could read those words and also know their son had access to a deadly weapon they gave him is unconscionable – that is a crime,” prosecutors said. speak.

Jennifer Crumbley texted her son after the shooting, saying, “Ethan, don’t do that,” McDonald said.

James Crumbley called 911 to say a gun was lost in their home and that Ethan might be the shooter. McDonald said the gun was stored in an unlocked drawer in the parent’s bedroom.

Ethan went with his father to buy a gun on November 26 and posted photos of the gun on social media, saying, “I just got a new look today,” McDonald said.

Over the extended Thanksgiving weekend, Jennifer Crumbley wrote on social media that it was “a mother and son day to try out his new Christmas present,” prosecutors said.

In a video message to the community on Thursday, the head of Oxford Community School said the high school looked like a “war zone” and would not be ready for weeks. Superintendent Tim Throne continually commends students and staff on how they respond to violence.

He also noted the meeting of Crumbley, parents and school staff. Throne did not provide details but summed it up by saying, “No discipline is guaranteed.”

McDonald was asked about the decision to keep Crumbley at the school.

“Of course, he shouldn’t go back to that class. … I believe it is a universal position. I’m not going to punish or attack, but yes,” she said.


White reports from Detroit. Associated Press journalists Mike Householder in Detroit and David Eggert of Lansing, Mich., also contributed to this report.


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