(CNN) – The parents of the 15-year-old indicted in this week’s fatal shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan were each charged on Friday with four counts of manslaughter.
“It has been a devastating week for us,” Oakland County District Attorney Karen McDonald said at a news conference. “There are other people who have contributed… and I intend to hold them accountable as well. “
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Hours after the announcement, authorities said police were looking for the parents before they were brought to justice. The parents were due to be brought to justice at 4 p.m. ET on Friday.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said law enforcement had not spoken with James and Jennifer Crumbley, but their attorney had told officials if there were any charges she would take action. arrangements for them to be arrested. He said the parents are no longer communicating with the lawyer.
Asked by CNN about the disappearance of the parents, Bouchard replied “correct”.
“If they think they’re going to be okay, they don’t,” said Bouchard.
All available resources are dedicated to their whereabouts, the sheriff said, adding that people should not approach the couple.
The couple were not under surveillance until “it got closer to last night,” when charges were pending and detectives began to monitor them, Bouchard said. There had been no early watch on them before that because no charges were pending.
Mom called gun “her new Christmas present” on social media, prosecutor says
In this rare case of parenting charges, prosecutors will attempt to prove that the parents were criminally negligent and contributed to a dangerous situation that resulted in the deaths of four teenagers on Tuesday.
McDonald said James Crumbley purchased the gun four days before it was used in the shooting. His son, Ethan Crumbley, 15, was with him and then posted on social media about the gun, calling it “my new beauty.”
Jennifer Crumbley also posted about the weapon on social media, calling it “her new Christmas present,” McDonald said.
These are part of the chain of events that led to the shooting, McDonald said.
Bouchard said the boy couldn’t legally own the gun or transport it to most places, with rare exceptions, such as shooting ranges.
Ethan Crumbley has been indicted as an adult on terrorism, murder and other counts in the rampage north of Detroit which also left seven people injured. The shooting was the deadliest on a U.S. K-12 campus since 2018 and the 32nd such attack since August 1.
Lt. Tim Willis, head of the special investigations unit at the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, said officers plan to arrest the parents.
Speaking to reporters, McDonald said she accused parents in part of asserting responsibility for gun possession, but the facts of the case were glaring in themselves.
“I am angry as a mother. I am angry as a prosecutor. I am angry as a person who lives in this county, ”she said. “There were a lot of things that could have been so simple to prevent and, yes, there was a perfectly executed response, and he was immediately apprehended and we have great law enforcement and training.
“But like I said before, four children were murdered and then another seven injured, so, yeah, I think we should all be very angry.”
Prosecutor describes frightening progression of events
McDonald said a teacher saw Ethan Crumbley looking for ammunition on his cell phone during class the day before the shooting and reported it to school officials. The school contacted Jennifer Crumbley by voicemail. Officials also sent an email but received no response from either parent, McDonald said.
Jennifer Crumbley texted about the incident with her son that day, stating, quoting, “LOL, I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught. End quote, ”McDonald said.
On the day of the shooting, a teacher found a note on Ethan Crumbley’s desk that alarmed her so much that she took a picture of it on her phone, McDonald said. The note included a drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointing to the words, “Thoughts will not stop.” Help me, ”she said.
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Another section was a drawing of a bullet with the words “Blood Everywhere” written above it. Between the drawing of the gun and the bullet is that of a person who appears to have been shot twice and is bleeding, McDonald said.
“Below that figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji,” McDonald said.
We also find on the note, according to McDonald: “My life is useless” and “The world is dead”.
James and Jennifer Crumbley were “immediately summoned to school,” McDonald said. A counselor met with the parents and the boy, who altered the design by scratching the designs of the gun and the bloody figure, as well as the words, according to McDonald’s.
Parents were urged to ask their son for a visit within 48 hours, McDonald said. Neither parent asked their son to see the gun or “inspect his backpack for the presence of the gun he had with him,” according to McDonald.
The parents dropped out of school and the boy was sent back to class.
When news of the shooting broke, according to McDonald’s, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, “Ethan, don’t do it.” James Crumbley called 911 to report that a gun was missing and his son could be the shooter.
McDonald said investigators discovered the gun used in the shooting was stored unlocked in a drawer in the couple’s bedroom.
School officials: No disciplinary action was necessary.
When the meeting took place before the shooting, no disciplinary action was warranted, the school district superintendent said Thursday.
“No discipline was justified. There is no disciplinary record at the high school, ”said Tim Throne, the superintendent of Oxford community schools, in a video statement on Thursday. “Yes, this student had contact with our front office. And yes, his parents were on campus on November 30.
There is a “strong possibility” that Crumbley had the gun he allegedly used in the shooting in his backpack during the meeting, McDonald told CNN on Thursday evening.
The school’s CCTV cameras will allow investigators to “really and literally map out what the perpetrator did” from that meeting to the shooting and arrest, Oakland County Sheriff Bouchard said. on CNN Friday morning.
The gunman had the gun “on him or in his backpack or somehow hid it” away from a school, he said.
Another warning sign had arrived on Monday – the day before the shooting – when another teacher “saw and heard something that seemed disturbing” related to Crumbley’s conduct in class, Bouchard said. School officials held a counseling session with Crumbley about the behavior in question, and his parents were notified by phone, Bouchard added.
Crumbley’s defense attorney on Wednesday asked the court to plead not guilty on his client’s behalf. CNN has attempted to reach Crumbley’s parents and is trying to identify their lawyer and a new lawyer for their son.
School is like a “war zone”, according to the superintendent
Two days after the deadly attack, Oxford high school is “like a war zone,” Throne told her community from the school in the 13-minute video posted to YouTube.
“This high school is a wreck right now,” he said, adding that repairs could take weeks.
The shooting claimed the life of 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin; Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17, officials said.
Throne praised the students and staff for the way they handled an active shooter threat, during which some administrators performed CPR and the students used desks and chairs to barricade themselves inside the rooms. class to protect themselves.
More than 100 911 calls were made to report the shooting as police rushed to the school at 12:52 p.m. local time, Bouchard said. Less than “two to three minutes” after the officers arrived, the gunman had surrendered.
“I think they literally saved lives, having shot the suspect with a loaded gun still in the building,” the sheriff said.
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