Prosecutors in Michigan have charged the parents of alleged Oxford high school shooter Ethan Crumbley with four charges each of involuntary manslaughter.
During a press conference on Friday announcing the charges, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said it was “impossible not to conclude” that the 15-year-old’s parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, could have done more to stop the mass shooting, which killed four students and injured seven people altogether.
Here’s what we know about the Crumbleys:
What have the Crumbley parents been charged with?
Both parents have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter each, which authorities described as the maximum possible charge available given the allegations of what happened.
Did Ethan Crumbley’s parents know he had a gun?
Ethan Crumbley’s parents bought him a gun, practiced shooting it with him, and had warning signs he was considering violence, according to the timeline laid out by officials on Wednesday.
The 15-year-old was present on 26 November when his father purchased the 9mm Sig Sauer used in the shooting, and even though his dad made the purchase, it was clear the gun was bound for Ethan Crumbley’s personal use.
“Just got my new beauty today. Sig Sauer 9mm. Any questions I will answer,” Ethan posted on now-deleted social media that same day, according to officials.
The following day, he and his mother headed to a shooting range to practice with the weapon, with Jennifer describing the outing as “Mom and son day testing out his new Christmas present”.
Did Ethan Crumbley’s parents warn school officials he was armed?
Neither Jennifer nor James Crumbley alerted school officials that Ethan had easy access to a semi-automatic handgun, according to prosecutors, even once they had been warned he was showing interest in seeking ammunition at school and making violent drawings.
Did Ethan Crumbley’s parents have any warnings he was considering violence?
School officials tried on multiple occasions to warn the Crumbley parents that their son was allegedly considering violence at school.
In the days before the shooting, Oxford High School left both a voicemail and an email with the family that a teacher had spied Ethan searching for information about ammunition online, which was met with no response to officials.
Jennifer, however, did allegedly text Ethan, writing, “Lol I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.”
Things escalated on 30 November, the morning of the shooting, which officials called both parents into school, after finding an alarming drawing of Ethan’s that featured pictures of guns, laughing emoji, and messages like “my life is useless” and “the thoughts won’t stop, help me.”
School personnel showed the parents the drawing, advising them to put Ethan in counseling immediately, according to prosecutors.
“James and Jennifer Crumbley resisted the idea of their son leaving the school at that time. Instead Jennifer and James Crumbley left the high school without their son,” Ms McDonald, the prosecutor, said on Friday.
Once there were reports that a shooting had occured at the school that day, Jennifer allegedly sent a text to Ethan that read, “Ethan, don’t do it,” while James drove straight home and reported his gun missing.
Have the Crumbleys been arrested?
Prosecutor McDonald declined to comment on Friday about whether the Crumbley parents, who The Independent has contacted for comment, have been arrested, located, or will be able to turn themselves in.
Were they supportive of guns?
“As a female and a Realtor, thank you for allowing my right to bear arms,” she wrote. “Allowing me to be protected if I show a home to someone with bad intentions. Thank you for respecting that Amendment.”
James, who has worked as a technology salesman, wrote on his Facebook page that the post was “spot on.”