Police are now searching for the parents of the 15-year-old Michigan boy who allegedly shot and killed four of his classmates at Oxford High School after announcing that they will also be charged.
The prosecutor has filed four charges of involuntary manslaughter against Jennifer and James Crumbley, the parents of the 15-year-old Oxford High School shooting suspect, Ethan Crumbley.
Hours after the charges were announced, police were still searching for the parents. They are scheduled to be arraigned at 4 p.m. on Friday, local time.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said during a press conference on Friday that Jennifer had texted Ethan saying “don’t do it” as news of the shooting went public.
“The prosecutor said Jennifer Crumbley texted her son at 1:22 p.m. and at 1:37 p.m his father, James Crumbley, called 911 to report that his gun was missing. He told the operator that his son may have been the active shooter,” The Hill reports.
The mother had met with the school just hours earlier to discuss a drawing that he had done of himself shooting another person.
“The day of the shooting, a teacher found a note on Ethan Crumbley’s desk that alarmed her so much she took a picture of it on her phone, McDonald said. The note included a drawing of a semiautomatic handgun pointing at the words, ‘The thoughts won’t stop. Help me,’ she said,” according to a report from CNN. “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 one of a person who seems to have been shot twice and is bleeding, McDonald said.”
“Below that figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji,” McDonald said.
At the meeting, the parents were told to get their son into therapy within 48 hours. The parents reportedly refused to remove their child from the school, so he remained in the building and began shooting just two hours later.
McDonald said that the parents “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.”
On Monday, a teacher also caught him browsing online to purchase ammunition. After the school contacted the parents, the mother texted Ethan saying “lol, I’m not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught.”
McDonald has said that the actions of the parents were “far beyond negligence” in this case.
The troubled teen’s father had purchased the 9mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 gun, that was later used in the massacre, four days before the shooting, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said during a press briefing. The mother had posted about the gun on social media, calling it her son’s “new Christmas present.”
The gun was being stored in an unlocked drawer in the bedroom of the parents.
“There is an additional piece of evidence that hasn’t been released yet, but I can assure you … it was troubling, it was disturbing, and unfortunately, he was allowed to go back to class,” McDonald said Wednesday during an interview with WDIV-TV.
“The only people who knew that there was a threat and an access to a gun did not work at that school,” McDonald added. He also noted that the weapon that was used “seems to have been just freely available” to the teenager.
The students who died at the scene or in the hospital while being treated for their injuries are Tate Myre, 16, Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17.
Tim Throne, superintendent of Oxford Community Schools, addressed community members in a video that was posted on Thursday.
“There’s just been a lot of talk about the student that was apprehended, that he was called up to the office and all that kind of stuff,” Throne said in the 12-minute video. “No discipline was warranted. There are no discipline records at the high school. Yes, this student did have contact with our front office. And yes, his parents were on campus.”
Thorne said that he could not elaborate further.
McDonald said that while the shooter was the one who pulled the trigger, “there are other individuals who contributed to this.”