Parents charged in Michigan school shooting returning to town, attorney says

The suspected gunman, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, allegedly used his father's semi-automatic handgun in Tuesday's shooting.

12/4/2021 12:27:00 AM

Prosecutor on charging parents of school shooting suspect: '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.'

The suspected gunman, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, allegedly used his father's semi-automatic handgun in Tuesday's shooting.

Parents of Michigan school shooting suspect chargedJames and Jennifer Crumbley were each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced Friday.Eric Seals/USA Today Network/via ReutersThe parents charged in connection with this week's deadly shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan are returning to town for their arraignment, their attorney said, after detectives announced they were trying to locate the couple.

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James and Jennifer Crumbley were each charged Friday with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Their son, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, allegedly used his father's semi-automatic handgun in the Tuesday shooting that killed four and injured seven.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said the Crumbleys' attorney would make arrangements for their arrest if charges were issued, and when the warrants were issued Friday,"detectives immediately moved to arrest the couple," the Oakland County Sheriff's Office said.

Oakland County Sheriff's Office/AFP via Getty ImagesThis photo released by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office on Dec.3, 2021, shows James and Jennifer Crumbley of Oxford, Mich.The attorney told police"she had made repeated attempts to reach them by phone and text without success," the sheriff's office said.

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Bouchard said,"The action of fleeing and ignoring their attorney certainly adds weight to the charges. They cannot run from their part in this tragedy."The couple's attorneys then said in a statement:"The Crumbleys left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety. They are returning to the area to be arraigned. They are not fleeing from law enforcement."

Rochester Hills District Court via WXYZEthan Crumbley's parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, appeared virtually at their son's arraignment, Nov. 1, 2021.Earlier on Friday, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald at a news conference outlined an alarming and violent note Ethan Crumbley allegedly drew hours before the shooting that prompted his parents to be called to the school. She also stressed the importance of responsible gun ownership.

“While the shooter was the one who entered the high school and pulled the trigger, there are other individuals who contributed to this, to the events on November 30, and it is my intention to hold them accountable," McDonald said.Ethan Crumbley was with his father when he bought the 9 mm Sig Sauer pistol on Nov. 26, McDonald said. The teen posted photos of the gun on social media, writing,"Just got my new beauty today," she said. Jennifer Crumbley also posted online about testing the gun out with her son, McDonald said.

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Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press via USA Today NetworkA parent hugs a child as other come to pick up students from the Meijer store in Oxford following an active shooter situation at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., Nov. 30, 2021.Eric Seals/USA Today Network/via Reuters

Parents walk away with their kids from the Meijer's parking lot where many students gathered following an active shooter situation at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., Nov. 30, 2021.A teacher saw Ethan Crumbley researching ammunition in class days before the shooting, the prosecutor said. School officials contacted his parents, but they didn't respond, McDonald said. However, according to the prosecutor, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, writing,"lol, I'm not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught."

According to McDonald, the morning of Tuesday's shooting, Ethan Crumbley's teacher saw an alarming note on his desk. McDonald described the note as"a drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointing at the words, 'The thoughts won't stop, help me.' In another section of the note was a drawing of a bullet with the following words above that bullet, 'Blood everywhere.'"

"Between the drawing of the gun and the bullet is a drawing of a person who appears to have been shot twice and bleeding," she said."Below that figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji. Further down the drawing are the words, 'My life is useless,' and to the right of that are the words, 'The world is dead.'"

MORE: Michigan school shooting: What we know about the victimsEthan Crumbley was removed from the classroom and his parents were called to the school, McDonald said. By the time a counselor obtained the drawing, the teen had allegedly altered it, McDonald said.

"At the meeting, James and Jennifer Crumbley were shown the drawing and were advised that they were required to get their son into counseling within 48 hours," she said."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."

The parents left school while Ethan Crumbley returned to class, likely with the gun in his backpack, McDonald said.MORE: 4th student dies from Michigan school shooting; 15-year-old charged as adultOnce news broke of a shooting at the school, McDonald said Jennifer Crumbley texted her son,"Ethan, don't do it."

James Crumbley called 911 to report that a gun was missing from his house and said he believed his son may be the shooter, McDonald said.Scott Olson/Getty ImagesA memorial outside of Oxford High School continues to grow on Dec. 3, 2021, in Oxford, Mich.

Nic Antaya/EPA via ShutterstockMembers of the community attend a prayer service and candlelight vigil at Bridgewood Church in Clarkston, Mich., a day after a 15-year-old student killed four classmates, Dec. 1, 2021.Authorities determined James Crumbley's semi-automatic handgun was stored unlocked in a drawer in his bedroom, McDonald said.

McDonald said involuntary manslaughter is"the strongest possible charge that we could prove" against the suspect's parents."These charges are intended to hold the individuals who contributed to this tragedy accountable and also send a message that gun owners have a responsibility. When they fail to uphold that responsibility, there are serious and criminal consequences," she said.

Ethan Crumbley has been charged as an adult with one count of terrorism causing death; four counts of first-degree murder; seven counts of assault with intent to murder; and 11 counts of possession of a firearm in commission of a felony.

Read more: ABC News »

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It is criminal!!! This kid should be expelled from school and sent to prison along with his parents. She’s absolutely right. Now let’s charge Rittenhouse’s dumbass “mother” too. These people do not value their own kids’ lives. Lock them up and toss the key! Looks like Kurstin Duntz huh Heinzilla The day before he was searching for ammo, he gets the ammo from who? The day of the murders his paperwork was turned in to a teacher. The parents seen it. Help me. He wanted to be stopped. The Mother is the monster who raised a Killer.

Did the parents have the meeting about the note the same day as the shooting? BAM… Mama don't play that! 🧐 Yeah lets just ignore the amount of crime by other people who kill each other by the thousands every year and focus on this one incident. I'm sure that'll reduce crime dramatically. Sounds like certain people are using THIS case to advance their career... 'Nuff said!!!...

I love when she corrects herself and says ‘it IS criminal’. She’s right, it is HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE.

It is about time the parents were held accountable! See, this is how you do it. Justice delayed is justice denied They should have been charged with murder along with their horrible son

If you need help paying your credit card bills or know anyone that does Send a dm I’m Victor Van , a Powerball lottery winner and I’m doing this to give back to the society during this holiday season . It’s unconscionable that the school allowed him to return to school without the therapy that was recommended. It’s unconscionable that further action wasn’t taken to immediately get this kid the help that he needed. We have a mental health problem & it’s not being addressed!

Why are they not being charged with providing material aid in support of terrorism? Has anyone bothered to ask this kid why he did it? Look at his picture. I'm sure he was being bullied and tormented beyond measure. Where's all the outrage against bullying? School shootings always have a cause ya know....this also needs to be addressed as much as the parents

Suspect's parents did not flee and are returning soon, their attorneys sayTwo attorneys working with the parents of the Michigan school shooting suspect say the couple aren't fleeing, but left town days ago 'for their own safety' and will return for their arraignment Baloney! They missed the arraignment and the law is searching for them. The Crumbley's are driving black 2021 KIA Seltos SUV, Michigan license plate DQG_5203 Oh. They're worried about 'their safety'? Didn't have any worry for the students at the high school though. Really really shitty people. Their attorneys also specialize in selling bridges.

Officials believe the parents are traveling in a black 2021 Kia Seltos SUVPolice say the parents of the Michigan school shooting suspect — who are each facing involuntary manslaughter charges — are traveling in a black Kia Seltos SUV and cautioned people against approaching them if they're spotted They just left their kid?!?! Hmmm maybe they need more charges! Why does the mother look like a guy?

Police are searching for Michigan school shooting suspect's parentsPolice are searching for the Michigan school shooting suspect's parents just hours before they are to be arraigned on involuntary manslaughter charges. Follow live updates: So their son is in custody and they go in hiding? What wonderful parents. I guess they never taught him about consequences since they are having trouble with their own consequences. Acosta Maybe they went to church, the one where they chant “Let’s go Brandon” Heading to Mexico.

Manhunt underway for parents of Michigan school shooting suspectJennifer and James Crumbley, the parents of a teenager charged with killing four students at a Michigan high school were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Start here Omfg.. do you report ANYTHING legit anymore? There is no manhunt. They puto out a BOLO for them as is standard. Their lawyer already contacted Sheriff that they are on their way from somewhere else. No clue where they went but c'mon.. when will u EVER become a legit news source? Our thoughts and prayers are with you all! Hearts are broken 💔!

Parents of suspected Michigan high school shooter are charged with involuntary manslaughterBREAKING: The parents of a teen charged with killing 4 students at a Michigan high school have been charged with 4 counts of involuntary manslaughter, prosecutor says. In China, I cannot get justice for my father's death due to academic corruption caused by medical corruption, malfeasance in judicial, law enforcement agencies, government administrative departments and discipline inspection, and lack of conscience in media supervision. Cool do the school next cuz they ignored everyone trying to warn them About time parents are charged. They need to lock up the guns