Parents in Michigan school shooting have been charged

Update: Parents of suspected school shooter in Michigan have been arrested – Read our latest coverage here.

The parents of the teenager charged lethal shooting four people at a high school in Michigan have been charged in connection with the vandalism, US Marshal’s office said. James and Jennifer Crumbley were each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

The county prosecutor, Karen McDonald, announced the charges against the couple on Friday, saying they failed to prevent the tragedy and allowed their son access to the gun he used in the shooting.

“While the shooter was the one who came into the high school and hit the trigger, there are other people who contributed to the events on November 30, and it is my intention to hold them accountable as well,” McDonald said at a news conference.


The prosecutor is targeting parents for shooting at school …

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Authorities were looking for the parents after the charges were announced. They had not made themselves authorities from Friday night and were it later arrested after a police chase that ended up in the basement of a Detroit building.

The suspect in the shooting, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, is facing 24 charges in Tuesday’s shooting, including four first-degree murders and one cause of death for terrorism. Four people were killed and seven others were injured in the shooting at Oxford High School.

The teenager attended his first court hearing on Wednesday and filed a statement of not guilty.

At Friday’s press conference, McDonald’s said James bought a 9-millimeter Sig Sauer pistol from Acme Shooting Goods in Oxford on 26 November. A store employee confirmed to police that Ethan was with James when the gun was purchased, she said, adding that social media posts from Jennifer referred to the gun as Ethan’s Christmas present.

James and Jennifer Crumbley
James and Jennifer Crumbley

Oakland County Sheriff’s Office


McDonald also read a post from Ethan’s social media, which featured a picture of the gun and the caption “Just got my new beauty today,” with a heart emoji.

The prosecutor said a teacher had reported Ethan for using his phone to search for ammunition online. James and Jennifer were notified via email and voicemail but did not respond to school officials, she said.

McDonald read text messages between the suspect and his mother. “LOL I’m not mad at you,” Jennifer told Ethan after the teacher reported him, according to McDonald. “You must learn not to get caught.”

The morning after the shooting, a high school teacher was alerted to a note she saw on Ethan’s desk, prosecutors said. The note contained a drawing of a gun, a bullet and a person who appeared to have been shot twice and bleeding, she added. It also contained the words, “Thoughts will not stop, help me.”

The parents were summoned to the school and told they had to start Ethan in counseling within the next 48 hours, the prosecutor said. The teenager was removed from class with her backpack, but parents opposed the idea of ​​getting Ethan to leave school, she added.

The parents opposed the idea of ​​getting Ethan to leave school and failed to inspect his backpack and ask him if he had the gun with him, the prosecutor claimed. Ethan eventually returned to class.

After the news of the shooting broke out, the prosecutor said Jennifer sent a message to Ethan at 1:22 p.m., which read, “Ethan. Do not do that.” Nearly 15 minutes later, James called 911 and reported a gun missing from his house, telling first aiders he thought his son was the active shooter in high school, according to McDonald.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said she fully supports the decision to target the parents.

“I fully support the prosecution of McDonald’s issuing charges against Jennifer and James Crumbley. Claiming the responsibility of a child’s parents in the circumstances presented is not just appropriate, it is crucial,” Nessel said in a statement. “My heart goes out to the families who lost their child in this unimaginable tragedy. We must not let this pass without properly addressing gun violence and responsible gun ownership.”

Justin Carissimo and Sophie Reardon contributed reporting.

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