Oakland County District Attorney’s Office Karen McDonald has filed a lawsuit against James and Jennifer Crumbley, The Associated Press reported on Friday, three days after their 15-year-old son allegedly opened fire in the halls of high school. Oxford, killing four classmates and injuring seven others. . The parents each face four counts of manslaughter.
Ms McDonald announced the charges at a noon press conference and said she filed them because although Mr Crumbley was the one who pulled the trigger, ‘there are other people who have contributed to that “. “It is my intention to hold them accountable,” she said.
The prosecutor noted that the manslaughter charge is the strongest allowed under the law, which states that parents of a child who violates gun laws on school property or in a vehicle school can be held criminally responsible if the parent knew of the child’s intentions. or continued their actions.
The couple were scheduled to appear at 4 p.m. on Friday. However, at 5 p.m., a team of fugitives was still looking for them to execute arrest warrants.
Mr Crumbley’s mother Jennifer texted him ‘Ethan, don’t do it’ after hearing reports of an active shooter at her school, Ms McDonald said on Friday.
Upon hearing the information, the suspect’s father, James, called 911 to report a missing gun, officials said.
The pistol Mr Crumbley allegedly used – a Sig Sauer 9mm SP 2022 model – had been stored in an unlocked drawer at the family’s home, according to Ms McDonald. The suspect went with his father to buy the gun on Black Friday, then posted on social media to try out his “new Christmas present”.
Ms McDonald also provided new details about the two incidents which prompted teachers to alert on Mr Crumbley’s behavior before the shooting.
On Monday, a teacher allegedly found Mr Crumbley searching for ammunition on his cell phone. His parents were alerted and his mother Jennifer reportedly texted him: “LOL I’m not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught. “
On Tuesday, another teacher found on a note on Mr. Crumbley’s desk that featured a drawing of a handgun bullet with the words: “Thoughts won’t stop, help me” and “blood all over “.
Mr Crumbley’s parents were called in after the note, but fought to get him back to class, Ms McDonald said.
The prosecutor then called “criminal” the failure of parents to prevent Tuesday’s shooting.
“I have tremendous compassion and empathy for parents who have children who are struggling and are at risk for whatever reason. And I don’t mean that an active shooter situation should always result in criminal prosecution against the parents, ”she said.
“But the facts of this case are so glaring, read this document, look at it, read the words” help me, with a gun, blood everywhere “, it does not only have an impact [on] me as a prosecutor and lawyer, it impacts me as a mother. The idea that a parent could read these words and know that their son had access to a deadly weapon, which they gave him, is unacceptable and I think it is criminal. It’s criminal. “
Ms McDonald said she filed a complaint to send a message about the liability of gun owners.
“When they do not respect this responsibility, there are serious and criminal consequences,” she said. “As we work together to honor the lives lost and all those affected by evil deeds this week, justice for the victims and their families is at the forefront of today’s announcement.
“We have to do better in this country. We have to say that is enough for our children, our teachers, our parents, for all of us in this community and communities across this country. “
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Jennifer Crumbley wrote an open letter to Donald Trump on his blog in 2016, praising the Republican’s stance on gun rights.
“As a wife and real estate agent, thank you for granting my right to bear arms,” she wrote. “Allow me to be protected if I show a house to someone with bad intentions.” Please respect this amendment.
Ethan Crumbley is currently being held without bail at Oakland County Jail on 24 counts, including one count of terrorism and four counts of first degree murder.