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Parents of 15-year-old shooting suspect charged with involuntary manslaughter; teen charged with murder, terrorism

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Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said she is also weighing charges against the suspect’s parents, but would not elaborate further.

Update: Friday December 3 at 2:17 p.m.

The parents of the alleged Oxford High School shooter have been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Four students were killed and seven others were injured in Tuesday’s attack.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said the alleged shooter’s parents ignored warning signs their child was troubled leading up to the attack.

McDonald said the teen was caught looking up ammunition on his phone at school and said the parents ignored school officials who reached out about their son looking up ammunition.

“Thereafter, Jennifer Crumbley exchanged text messages about the incident with her son on that day stating quote ‘lol I'm not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught’.”

Speaking at a news conference Friday afternoon, McDonald said the parents were called to the school after a drawing was found with disturbing imagery.

“Both James and Jennifer Crumbley failed to ask their son if he had his gun with him or where his gun was located and failed to inspect his backpack for the presence of the gun which he had with him.”

McDonald said the parents were advised to get their son some help within 48 hours, but they refused to take their child out of school just hours before the attack.

“At 1:37pm James Crumbley called 911, reporting that a gun was missing from his house and he believed his son may be the shooter," McDonald said. "Further investigation revealed that the Sig Sauer 9mm handgun purchased by James Crumbley was stored unlocked in a drawer in James and Jennifer's bedroom.”

There’s no state law that requires gun owners keep weapons locked away from children. Democrats in the state Legislature are set to reintroduce bills that would require it before the end of the year.

Authorities say James Crumbley purchased the handgun used in the killings legally for his son just four days before the attack. His son has been charged with first degree murder as an adult.

— Russ McNamara, WDET

Update: Friday December 3 at 1:10 p.m.

A prosecutor said the parents of a teen accused of killing four students at a Michigan high school were summoned a few hours earlier after a teacher found a drawing of a gun, a person bleeding and the words "help me."

Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald filed involuntary manslaughter charges against Jennifer and James Crumbley, the parents of 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley.

Ethan Crumbley was returned to his classroom and later emerged from a bathroom, firing a gun at students. He's charged with murder and other other charges.

McDonald said the gun used in the shootings at Oxford High School was purchased by James Crumbley a week ago and given to the boy.

McDonald said Jennifer and James Crumbley committed "egregious" acts, from buying the gun for Ethan Crumbley and failing to intervene when they were summoned to the school and confronted with the drawing.

“I fully support Prosecutor McDonald’s issuance of charges against Jennifer and James Crumbley. Demanding accountability of a child’s parents under the circumstances presented is not just appropriate, it’s crucial. Justice demands no less," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said via a statement. “My heart continues to go out to the families who lost their child in this unfathomable tragedy. We must not let this pass without properly addressing gun violence and responsible gun ownership.”

The Associated Press

Update: Friday December 3 at 11:55 a.m.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald has filed involuntary manslaughter charges against the parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school.

James and Jennifer Crumbley were charged Friday with four counts each.

Authorities previously disclosed that James Crumbley had purchased the gun used by his son four days before the attack.

Update: Wednesday, December 1 at 7:10 p.m.

The fifteen-year-old sophomore accused of killing four people at Oxford High School on Tuesday has been denied bond.

Ethan Crumbley stood mute during his arraignment Wednesday while the court entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

He faces two dozen charges, including terrorism, murder, and attempted murder.

Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor Marc Keast said school security camera footage shows Crumbley firing on students in the school’s hallways. He said Crumbley’s cell phone and other evidence also show the attack was pre-meditated.

“This defendant planned the shooting," Keast said. "He deliberately brought the handgun that day, with the intent to murder as many students as he could.”

“This was a planned event, it was methodical in its operation, and it was done so to terrorize and intimidate others in the community.”

Crumbley was also moved from a juvenile detention facility to the Oakland County Jail. His next court appearance is scheduled for December15.

Original Post: Wednesday, December 1 at 5:47 p.m.

An Oxford High School student has beencharged with murder, attempted murder, terrorism and other charges following Tuesday's attack at that school.

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald explained why she is charging the 15-year-old as an adult.

"There are crimes that the Legislature has said are so serious that a person who commits them can automatically be charged as an adult. First degree murder is the most serious of all those crime. Second, there are facts leading up to the shooting that suggest this was not just an impulsive act," McDonald said.

Four students, ranging in age from 14 to 17, were killed, and seven others were injured in Tuesday's incident.

The prosecutor said she is also weighing charges against the suspect’s parents, but would not elaborate further. McDonald said there is evidence this attack was planned well in advance.

"There is a mountain of digital evidence: videotape, social media, all digital evidence possible, and we have reviewed it and absolutely, we are confident that we can show it was premeditation," she said.

According to The Associated Press, authorities say that the alleged shooter recorded a video the night before the violence in which he discussed killing students. The revelation was made by Oakland County Sheriff's Lt. Tim Willis during a court hearing for Ethan Crumbley.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said the 15-year-old alleged shooter – and his parents - met with school officials before the attack.

"We have since learned that the school did have contact with the student the day before, and the day of the shooting for behavior in the classroom that they felt was concerning," Bouchard said. "The content of that meeting, obviously, as part of the investigation, but we did not learn of that meeting, nor of the content of that meeting until after the shooting and during this investigation."

The sheriff said the school has cooperated fully with the investigation, but the teen and his parents are not.

McDonald called for tougher gun laws, but didn’t explain how they were applicable to this case.

Bouchard said it’s unclear how the sophomore got control of the handgun used in the attack, but said it was purchased on November 26 by the boy's father.

Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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