New charges have been filed against the parents of the high school shooter at Oxford High School in Michigan.
As The Blast previously reported, the suspect, 15-year-old sophomore Ethan Crumbley, is facing a host of charges, including murder, assault, and weapons charges. He also faces one count of terrorism causing death after killing four students and wounded eight others in a violent attack.
In a news conference held on Friday, December 3, prosecutor Karen McDonald revealed that Crumbley’s parents, James Crumbley and Jennifer Crumbley, will each face four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
New Evidence Shows That The Attack Was Pre-Meditated
I fully support Prosecutor McDonald’s issuance of Involuntary Manslaughter charges against the parents of the alleged shooter. Demanding accountability of a child’s parents under the circumstances presented isn’t just appropriate, it’s essential. Justice demands no less.
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— Dana Nessel (@dananessel) December 3, 2021
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In a news conference held just after noon local time, McDonald revealed that the parents of the accused would be held accountable and revealed the details that led prosecutors to make this decision.
James Crumbley purchased the semi-automatic gun that was used in the attack on Black Friday. A store employee present for the purchase said that Ethan was present at the time of the purchase.
Ethan later posted photos of the semi-automatic handgun on his social media later that day. In the caption, he allegedly wrote, “Just got my new beauty today” alongside an emoji with hearts.
One of Jennifer’s social media posts around that time read “Mom and son day testing out his new Christmas present.”
On November 29, a teacher observed Ethan searching ammunition on his cell phone during class and reported it to school officials. Jennifer was contacted regarding the inappropriate Internet search. They were unable to reach her and left a voicemail. They also followed up with her over email. They received no response from either parent.
However, Jennifer reportedly did exchange texts with her son regarding the incident on that day, stating, “LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.”
New Outrage Grows When Evidence Reveals The Shooting Could Have Been Prevented
The Michigan prosecutor just did what needed to be done with the filing of involuntary manslaughter charges against the parents in the Oxford school shooting. These parents are responsible along with their son for the murder of 4 teenagers.
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) December 3, 2021
On the morning of the shooting, November 30, 2021, Crumbley’s parents were called in to discuss an alarming drawing that their son had made.
A teacher had found a note left on Ethan’s desk and took a picture of it to present to school officials. The note included a drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointing at the words “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.”
In another section of the note was a bullet with the words “Blood everywhere.” Between those two drawings is a drawing of a person who appeared to be shot twice and bleeding.
Below that figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji. Further down the drawing are the words “My life is useless” and to the right of that, “The world is dead.”
As a result, his parents were summoned to the school. A school counselor brought the student down to the office to meet his with parents; however, the student had altered the drawing to scratch out the drawing of the gun and the bleeding person. Several of the words were also scratched out.
The parents were notified that they had to get their son into counseling within 48 hours. His parents did not ask him if he had his gun with him, nor did they inspect their son’s backpack for the gun. They were “resistant” to the idea of taking their son home with him and he was allowed to return to the classroom.
After news of the shooting had been made public, records show that Jennifer texted her son at 1:22 p.m. saying “Ethan, don’t do it.”
At 1:37 p.m. James called 911 to report that a gun was missing from his house and he believed that his son may be the shooter. Further investigation revealed that the gun had been stored unlocked in a drawer in their bedroom. The gun recovered from the shooting was the same gun that had been purchased on Black Friday.
For those reasons, the prosecution charged each parent with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. She would not reveal if his parents were already in police custody, or if they would be allowed to turn themselves in.
In questioning, McDonald called Michigan laws “woefully inadequate” and mentioned that minors are allowed to attend shooting ranges, so long as they are accompanied by a parent.
McDonald added, “It doesn’t just impact me as a prosecutor and a lawyer, it impacts me as a mother.”
You can view the full news conference below.