Michigan school shooting: Suspect’s parents charged with manslaughter
The parents of the 15-year-old suspect are facing manslaughter charges after prosecutors said their son shot and killed four of his classmates.
Staff video, USA TODAY
DETROIT – James and Jennifer Curmbley, the parents of the teen accused in the Oxford High School shooting were found and arrested early Saturday in Detroit, just over two hours after a citizen saw their car and called the police.
“Yes, they are both in custody and will be on their way to Oakland County Jail soon,” said Oakland County Sheriff Mike McCabe. Kudos to Detroit PD and all the other agencies that helped.
Authorities have been searching for the Crumpley family since around noon Friday after they were charged with four counts of manslaughter in a high school shooting in Michigan. Their son, Ethan Curmbley, 15, is accused of shooting four students and injuring seven others at a Detroit high school on Tuesday.
Crumbley’s parents did not appear to be called on Friday afternoon in Rochester Hills, Michigan. US Infantry Service Issuance of “Wanted” stickers He offered a reward for the information that led to their arrest.
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office led the investigation into the shooting and the search for the Crumbleys. McCabe said the car was found around 11:30 p.m. Friday.
“The building owner arrived and saw the car in the back parking lot, knew it didn’t belong there, and went to investigate,” McCabe told the Detroit Free Press, part of the USA TODAY Network.
The building owner immediately recognized the vehicle from information provided by law enforcement, checked the matching license plate, and called 911.
By about 1:45 a.m., the Crumbly family had been arrested.
Jennifer and James Crumble have been charged with four counts of manslaughter after the attorney general said they bought their son’s firearm as a Christmas gift.
During the hearing that began around noon, a lieutenant at the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said the parents were not in custody. The Oakland County Fugitive Team, along with several agencies, were searching for the couple as of Friday evening.
“The act of absconding and ignoring their attorney certainly adds weight to the charges,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a statement on Friday. They cannot escape their role in this tragedy.”
But the family’s lawyer said the couple did not flee the authorities and were returning to the area after they briefly left town amid the turmoil surrounding the tragedy.
Their attorneys, Smith and Marielle Lehmann, said: “For their own safety, the Crombley family left town on the night of the tragic shooting.
The gun was stored in an open drawer in their home, and Cromble’s parents did not ask where it was when they were called to school on the day of the shooting over a disturbing drawing of their son made of a firearm, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen said. McDonald’s at a press conference Friday.
MacDonald said Ethan Crumble had posted information about the firearm online and researched the ammunition while at school. She said he was also allowed to return to class on the day of the shooting after meeting his parents.
“The facts of this case are absolutely terrible,” MacDonald said.
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On Wednesday, Kermbli was charged as an adult with murder, terrorism and other crimes in what investigators described as a systematic and premeditated massacre.
When asked if her office is looking into accusations of any school officials, MacDonald said an investigation is underway.
“While it was the shooter who entered high school and pulled the trigger, there were other individuals who contributed to the November 30 events, and I intend to hold them responsible as well,” she said.
Here’s what we know on Friday:
At a news conference Friday, MacDonald explained how Ethan Crumble got the gun’s other warning signs in the days leading up to the shooting.
MacDonald said Ethan Crumbly was there when his dad bought the 9mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 on November 26. On the same day, the younger Crumpley posted pictures of the weapon on the Internet, calling it his “new beauty.” “Mom and son are testing out their new Christmas present,” his mother said in a post the next day.
“Based on the statements of the shooter (and) his mother’s sayings, this was his rifle,” MacDonald said.
prosecutor: School officials learned of the suspect’s shooting, searched the Internet for ammunition, and made drawings
The 15-year-old suspect was caught searching for ammunition online while at school before the shooting. MacDonald said school officials called his mother about the internet search, and left a voicemail and email, but received no response. Instead, Cromble’s mother texted him the same day, “Lol I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught,” MacDonald said.
MacDonald said that hours before the shooting, Crumpley was found with a disturbing drawing that included a firearm and a person who appeared to be bleeding.
One of the teachers took a picture of the drawing, and Crumble’s parents were immediately contacted. MacDonald said that when the drawing was brought to the school counselor with Crumbley and his parents present, Crumbley changed it.
A counselor told the parents that their son needed to get counseling, but Crumpley was able to go back to class. MacDonald said his parents did not ask him about the firearm at the time and did not search his bag.
“Of course, he shouldn’t have been back in that semester,” MacDonald added.
After news of the school shooting came out, Jennifer Cromble texted her son, “Ethan don’t do that,” MacDonald said. MacDonald said James Curmbley drove home to look for the firearm and called 911 to report it missing, saying he believed his son was the shooter.
“I am angry as a mother. I am angry as the attorney general. I am angry as someone who lives in this county. I am angry. There were a lot of things that were easy to prevent,” MacDonald said.
Threats of imitation spread on social media and counties canceled classes Thursday, warning of student safety.
A 17-year-old student in Southfield, about 30 miles from Oxford High School, was arrested Thursday with a semi-automatic pistol. A bomb threat was also threatened at Southlake High School, about 45 miles from Oxford, prompting a police investigation.
“If you’re making threats, we’ll find you,” Bouchard said during a Thursday press conference called in specifically to tackle hundreds of reported copycat threats. “It is ironic that you are raising the fear and passion of parents, teachers and society in the midst of a true tragedy.”
The FBI and Secret Service also investigate the threats.
MacDonald said people who make false threats may face charges of false threat of terrorism, a 20-year felony, and misdemeanor malicious use of a phone.
Meanwhile, parents walk a fine line to ensure the security of their children without affecting the mental and emotional health of their children.
“I felt like I was going to vomit,” said Jill Dillon, 51, remembering taking her 14-year-old son to school on Wednesday morning. “It was disgusting, I was just thinking I’m supposed to take it somewhere safe, would it really be safe?”
The confusion between what’s real and what’s not was the scariest part, said David Rhoden, a 14-year-old freshman at Northville High School, which remained open Thursday.
“Everyone was in a state of nervousness,” he said. “It’s kind of weird, and his proximity to the situation.”
– Myriam Marigny, Detroit Free Press
Fake social media accounts claiming to be the 15-year-old accused in the Oxford High School shooting began to surface even before his name was revealed by law enforcement, and some made threats about additional shootings and plans for revenge.
While direct threats may lead to criminal charges, the spread of false information via deceptive accounts is a common problem in the wake of mass shootings, often illegal and sometimes not in violation of social media platforms’ terms of service.
“Unfortunately, bad taste is not against the law,” said Lt. Mike Shaw of the Michigan State Police.
Cliff Lamb, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, said it was unlikely that any social media accounts that chronicled Crumpley’s alleged criminal activity would remain active on these platforms.
Lampe said that in active threat cases, the social media accounts of the alleged perpetrators are deleted through an opaque process. Platforms are alerted either by their own algorithms or by law enforcement.
Lampi said social media platforms’ tendency to make some user accounts “disappear at night” could help fuel the creation of these fake accounts. However, the common practice of creating “sock puppets” online will happen regardless, he said.
“Sock puppet accounts and fake accounts have been a part of internet culture for almost as long as the internet has been around,” said Lambie. Read more here.
– Ashley Nirbovig, Detroit Free Press
Contributing: Darcy Moran, Tyler J. Davis, Phoebe; Wall Howard, Elisha Anderson, Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press; Associated Press