DETROIT – A Michigan prosecutor on Friday filed involuntary manslaughter charges against the parents of the 15-year-old suspect in the Oxford High School shooting.
Jennifer and James Crumbley were each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter after their son, Ethan, was accused of shooting dead four students at a Detroit suburban school Tuesday.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald previously called Crumbley’s parents’ actions “far beyond negligence.”
The suspect, a sophomore at a Detroit suburban school, was charged Wednesday as an adult with murder, terrorism and other charges that investigators described as a possible massacre intentional and methodical.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said his father purchased the 9mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 gun four days before the shooting.
McDonald’s told WJR-AM on Thursday that the gun “appears to be given away only for free” to Crumbley.
“Parents are the only people in this position who know how to access a weapon,” she added.
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McDonald said in another interview this week that additional unpublished evidence in the case was “troublesome” and “disturbing.”
“Unfortunately, he was allowed back into the classroom,” McDonald told WDIV-TV.
Suspect was flagged twice by school staff because of “related behavior,” Bouchard said, with the first coming a day before the shooting and the second just hours before. Bouchard said the suspect’s parents were brought to the school around 10 a.m. on the day of the shooting to meet with students and school staff.
Here’s what we know on Friday:
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.
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.
Contributing: Elisha Anderson, Detroit Free Press; Related press