Parents of Accused School Shooter Ethan Crumbley Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter
Prosecutors say the parents were called to the school after a chilling note was found on Ethan's desk. His parents were reportedly given 48 hours to get Ethan counseling, and he was allowed to return to class. The shooting happened hours later.
The parents of accused high school shooter Ethan Crumbley have been charged with involuntary manslaughter after prosecutors say they learned the parents were aware the 15-year-old had access to a gun.
Michigan officials say James and Jennifer Crumbley are criminally negligent for their son’s alleged Nov. 30 shooting spree at Oxford High School that left four dead and seven others injured.
Announcing the charges at a press conference, prosecutor Karen McDonald revealed the gun used in the shooting was bought for Ethan as an early Christmas gift.
“Mom and son day testing out his new Christmas present," Jennifer Crumbley wrote on social media days before the shooting, according to McDonald.
McDonald says the parents were called to the school after a teacher found a chilling note on Ethan’s desk, which showed a drawing of a gun with the words, “The thought’s won’t stop. Help me. Blood everywhere. My life is useless and the world is dead.”
"The notion that a parent could read those words and also know that their son had access to a deadly weapon, that they gave him, is unconscionable. And I think it's criminal. It is criminal," McDonald said.
During the meeting at school, prosecutors say Ethan actually had his gun in his backpack. His parents were reportedly given 48 hours to get him counseling, and he was allowed to return to class.
Apparently, no one thought to ask Ethan if he had his gun with him. The shooting spree happened hours later.
"Of course he shouldn't have gone back to that classroom. Of course he shouldn't have," McDonald said.
McDonald says that after the shooting began, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, "Ethan. Don't do it."
His father also suspected the gunman was Ethan, and called police after the shooting, saying he believed his son was responsible.
"The 9mm handgun purchased by James Crumbley was stored unlocked, in a drawer in James and Jennifer's bedroom," McDonald said.
Court TV's Ashley Willcott says the fact that the parents are facing involuntary manslaughter charges is a "huge deal," because to her knowledge it's "never happened before" in the case of school shooting.
McDonald says she brought the charges to send a message.
"We need to do better in this country. We need to say, 'Enough is enough.' For our kids, our teachers, parents, for all of us," McDonald said.
Funeral arrangements have been announced for three of the four victims, the first one being this Saturday.
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