DETROIT – Hours after a prosecutor filed manslaughter charges against the suspect’s parents in the Oxford High School shooting, authorities said multiple agencies were looking for the couple.
Jennifer and James Crumbley have each been charged with four counts of manslaughter after the prosecutor said he bought the gun for their son as a Christmas present. Their 15-year-old son Ethan is accused of shooting four students and injuring seven others at Oxford High School on Tuesday.
The gun had been stored in an unlocked drawer in their home, and Crumbley’s parents did not ask where he was when they were called to school on the day of the shooting over a disturbing drawing that their son made a gun, said Karen, Oakland County District Attorney. McDonald’s at a press conference on Friday.
The parents were due to be video arraigned on Friday, but a sheriff’s lieutenant said they were not in custody, media reported. The couple have stopped contacting their attorney, according to a statement from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.
“Running away and ignoring their lawyer certainly adds weight to the charges,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “They cannot shirk their role in this tragedy.”
Ethan Crumbley had posted gun articles online and researched ammunition at school, McDonald said, the investigation revealed. He was also allowed to return to class on the day of the shooting after meeting his parents, she said.
“The facts of this case are so glaring,” said McDonald.
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Crumbley was charged on Wednesday as an adult with murder, terrorism and other crimes in what investigators called a methodical and deliberate slaughter.
When asked if his office is investigating the charges against school officials, McDonald said the investigation is ongoing.
“While the shooter is the one who walked into high school and pulled the trigger, there are other people who contributed to the events of November 30, and I intend to hold them accountable as well,” she declared.
Here’s what we know on Friday:
Prosecutor: Gun was a “Christmas present”
At a press conference on Friday, McDonald’s explained how the suspect obtained the gun and other warning signs in the days leading up to the shooting.
McDonald said the suspect was present when his father purchased the 9mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 on November 26. The same day, the suspect posted pictures of the gun online, calling it a “new beauty”. His mother said in a message the next day, “Mother and Son’s Day is testing its new Christmas present,” McDonald said.
“Clearly based on the gunman’s statements (and) mom’s statements, this was his gun,” McDonald said.
Attorney: School officials knew shooting suspect searched online for ammunition and made pictures
The suspect’s drawing raised concerns on the day of filming
The 15-year-old suspect was also caught searching for ammunition online while at school before the shooting. McDonald said school officials contacted his mother about the online research, leaving her a voicemail and email message, but received no response. Instead, Crumbley’s mother texted him the same day, “LOL, I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught,” McDonald said.
Hours before the shooting, Crumbley was found with a disturbing drawing that included a drawing of a gun and someone who appeared to be bleeding, McDonald said.
A teacher took a photo of the drawing and Crumbley’s parents were contacted immediately. When the drawing was taken to a school counselor in the presence of Crumbley and his parents, Crumbley had altered it, McDonald said.
A counselor told the parents their son needed counseling, but Crumbley was able to return to class. His parents did not ask him about the gun at the time and did not search his backpack, McDonald said.
“Of course he shouldn’t have gone back to that class,” McDonald added.
After reports of the school shooting, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, “Ethan, don’t do it,” McDonald said. James Crumbley returned home to search for the gun and called 911 to report it missing, saying he believed his son was the shooter, McDonald said.
“I’m angry as a mother. I’m angry as a district attorney. I’m angry as a person who lives in this county. I’m angry. There were a lot of things that could have been so simple. to prevent, “McDonald said.
Multitudes of copy threats in Detroit metro trouble schools, parents
Copy threats circulated on social networks and districts canceled classes Thursday out of caution for the safety of students.
A 17-year-old student in Southfield, about 30 miles from Oxford High School, was arrested on Thursday with a semi-automatic pistol. A bomb threat was also issued at South Lake High School, about 45 miles from Oxford, and sparked a police investigation.
“If you make threats, we’ll find you,” Bouchard said at a press conference Thursday that was specifically called to respond to the estimated hundreds of reported copy threats. “It is ridiculous that you are stoking the fears and passion of parents, teachers and the community in the midst of true tragedy.”
The FBI and the Secret Service are also investigating the threats.
People who make bogus threats could face charges of bogus terrorism threat, which is a 20-year felony, and misuse of a phone, McDonald said.
Meanwhile, parents are doing well to keep their children safe without affecting the mental and emotional health of their children.
“I felt like I was going to throw up,” said Jill Dillon, 51, recalling dropping her 14-year-old son off at school Wednesday morning. “It was nauseating to think that I was supposed to take him somewhere safe, and is he really going to be safe?”
David Roden, a 14-year-old freshman at Northville High School who remained open on Thursday, said the confusion between what’s real and what’s not was the scariest part.
“Everyone was on edge. It’s just a little weird being close to the situation,” he said.
– Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press
Fake Instagram accounts are on the rise
Fake social media accounts claiming to be the 15-year-old indicted in the Oxford High School shooting started popping up even before his name was released by law enforcement, and some have made threats of additional shootings and revenge plans.
While direct threats can lead to criminal charges, spreading false information through deceptive accounts is a common problem following mass shootings, is often not illegal, and sometimes does not violate the terms of service. social media platforms.
“Unfortunately, bad taste is not against the law,” said Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw.
Social media accounts chronicling Crumbley’s alleged criminal activity are unlikely to remain active on these platforms, said Cliff Lampe, a professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan.
In active threat situations, the social media accounts of suspected perpetrators are removed through an opaque process, Lampe said. The platforms are alerted either by their own algorithms or by the police.
The tendency of social media platforms to “vanish overnight” certain user accounts may help fuel the creation of these fake accounts, Lampe said. However, the common practice of putting up “sock puppets” online would still happen, he said.
“Sock puppet accounts and fake accounts have been part of Internet culture for almost as long as the Internet has existed,” Lampe said. Read more here.
– Ashley Nerbovig, Detroit Free Press
Contribution: Elisha Anderson, Detroit Free Press; The Associated Press