Michigan School Shooter Parents Charged

The parents of Ethan Crumbley, the Oxford High School shooter, have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter after the events of November 30 which resulted in the death of four students.

Both James and Jennifer Crumbley pleaded not guilty on the charges December 4 after an intense search for the parents. The parents were supposed to attend an arraignment on December 3 but failed to do so.

“They appeared to be hiding in the building,” Detroit Police Chief James White said.

The parents were found in a Detroit industrial building after hours of searching and were described to have appeared “very distressed”.

Bonds were set for $500,000 for both James and Jennifer Crumbley.

The prosecutor Karen D. McDonald gathered the information to charge the parents very quickly.

“I just instinctually knew there was just absolutely no way I was not going to prosecute them when I heard all the evidence,” McDonald said.

This is the first time that parents of a minor school shooter have been charged on behalf of the shooting. McDonald hopes that charging the parents will be a step towards resolving some gun ownership irresponsibilities.

James Crumbley allegedly purchased the gun used by his son on November 26 for an early Christmas present.

After the gun was purchased, Ethan Crumbley posted an image of the gun on Instagram with the caption, “Just got my new beauty today. SIG SAUER 9mm (heart eyes emoji)”. The gun was also posted by Jennifer Crumbley, continuously describing it as an early Christmas present.

McDonald noted that the gun was not being stored properly and out of accessibility of Ethan Crumbley.

“It’s … clear from the facts that (Ethan Crumbley) had total access to this weapon,” McDonald said.

An attorney of the parents, Shannon Smith, denied the statement and declared that there was more information not being set out.

“The most deciding factor for me was the fact that the gun was bought for a present,” junior Stephanie Hartford said.

Hartford as well as other students agree with McDonald in charging the parents simply for supplying the minor with the weapon.

“I fully agree with the decision in the involuntary manslaughter charges but I think there should be further charges with the gun,” Hartford explained.

The day before the tragedy, administration at Oxford High School notified Jennifer Crumbley of Ethan looking up ammunition on his phone during class. Jennifer took no action towards this and rather texted him, “LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught”.

November 30, the day of the shooting, graphic drawings were found which alarmed administration and called for a meeting with the parents of Ethan Crumbley. The parents refused to remove him from the school.

“I just hope that justice is done for the students who were victims whether that be through the parents or not,” Hartford ended.