The parents of the suspect in the suburban Detroit school shooting on Tuesday have been charged with involuntary manslaughter after Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said they bought the gun used in the shooting as a Christmas gift for their 15-year-old son.
James and Jennifer Crumbley were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter each. Their son Ethan stands accused of killing four students and injuring seven others at Oxford High School on Tuesday.
The gun had been stored in an unlocked drawer in their house, and Crumbley's parents did not ask where it was when they were called to the school the day of the shooting for a disturbing drawing their son made of a firearm, said Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald at a news conference Friday.
Crumbley had posted about the firearm online and researched ammunition while at school, McDonald said the investigation revealed. He was also allowed to return to class on the day of the shooting after the meeting with his parents, she said. -USA Today
"The facts of this case are so egregious," McDonald said, adding "While the shooter was the one who entered the high school and pulled the trigger, there are other individuals who contributed to the events on Nov. 30, and it's my intention to hold them accountable as well.:
The teen was charged as an adult on Wednesday with murder, terrorism and other crimes - with investigators describing the shooting as a methodical and deliberate massacre.
During a Friday news conference, McDonald explained how the suspect obtained the firearm - as well as ignored warning signs leading up to the shooting.
McDonald said the suspect was present when his dad purchased the the 9mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 on Nov. 26. The same day, the suspect posted photos of the weapon online, calling it his "new beauty." His mom said in a post the following day, "Mom and son day testing out his new Christmas present," McDonald said.
The teen was also caught looking up ammo online at school prior to the shooting. In response, school officials contacted Jennifer Crubley about the online search - leaving her a voicemail and an email with no response. She instead texted Ethan the same day, writing "LOL I'm not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught."
"Clearly based on the statements of the shooter (and) the statements of mom, that was his gun," McDonald said.
Meanwhile, hours before the shooting Ethan was also found with a 'disturbing picture' depicting a firearm and someone who appeared to be bleeding.
"Of course, he shouldn't have gone back to that classroom," McDonald added.
After reports of the shooting at the school, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, "Ethan don't do it," McDonald said. James Crumbley drove home to search for the firearm 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 the prosecutor. I'm angry as a person that lives in this county. I'm angry. There were a lot of things that could have been so simple to prevent," McDonald said. -USA Today
Meanwhile, the FBI and Secret Service are reportedly investigating copycat threats.