His parents, James and Jennifer Curmbley, were also charged with four counts of manslaughter in connection with their son’s alleged actions.
“It is critical to the victims, our staff and our entire community that full and transparent accountability is held. To this end, I have requested a third party investigation so that we will spare no effort, including any and all student interaction with staff and students,” Throne wrote in the letter to the Oxford Community .
The day before the shooting
On Monday, he saw the suspect’s teacher looking at pictures of ammunition on his cell phone during class, prompting a meeting with a counselor and another employee. During that discussion, the student told them that he and his mother had recently gone to a shooting range and that “shooting is a family pastime,” Throne wrote in the letter.
The throne said that the school tried to reach the student’s mother that day, but did not hear back until the next day when his parents confirmed the student’s story.
After school officials reached out to Jennifer Curmbley about her son searching the Internet for ammunition, she texted him, “Lol I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught,” prosecutors said.
Then a teacher alerted on Tuesday — the day of the shooting — the school’s counselors and the dean of students “about drawings and written statements” the student had prepared, according to the letter. Throne explains that he was “immediately taken out of the classroom” and taken to the guidance counselor’s office.
The student told the school counselor that “drawing was part of a video game he was designing and he informed the advisors that he plans to pursue video game design as a career,” Thrun said.
After this discussion, the student stayed in the office for an hour and a half while school staff called his parents and waited for them to arrive at school, the letter indicated. While waiting, the student said he was concerned about missing his homework assignments, and “requested his science homework, which he then worked on while in the office,” the letter said.
“At no time did counselors believe that a student might harm others based on his or her seemingly calm behavior, responses, and behavior,” Thrun said.
Throne said that upon the parents’ arrival, school counselors asked the student “specific investigative questions” about the possibility that he might harm himself or others. According to the letter, the answers he gave “lead the counselors to conclude again that he had no intention of harming himself or others.”
School counselors told parents they should seek advice for their son within 48 hours, or else the school would contact Child Protective Services, Throne wrote.
When asked to take their child home for the rest of the day, Throne said the student’s parents “flatly refused”, leaving their son behind to “go back to work”. Throne explained that because the student had no prior disciplinary actions on his record, the school’s counselors decided to allow him to return to his class, rather than send him to what they thought was an empty house.
“While we understand that this decision caused anger and confusion and prompted an understandable questioning, the consultants made a judgment based on their professional training and clinical experience and did not have all the facts that we know now,” he said.
The throne indicated that the decision to return the student to the class was not shared with the school principal or the assistant principal.
Karen MacDonald, the Oakland County District Attorney who is leading the case, said Crumpley alleged he used the gun in his backpack while meeting with school officials and his parents.
Throne said in his letter that he did not know whether the gun was in the student’s bag or not because “it has not been confirmed by law enforcement authorities to the best of our knowledge nor by our investigation at this time.”
Thrun said the alleged shooter began shooting with a pistol “during the time between classes when hundreds of students were in the hall going from class to class” on Tuesday.
Throne explained, “Before the shooter could walk a short distance to enter the main entrance, students and staff had already entered the classrooms, locked doors, erected makeshift barriers, and locked or fled according to their training.” “The suspect was unable to make it to a single semester.”
Throne said an initial review of videos of the shooting showed that “staff and students’ response to the shooter was effective and exemplary, and certainly prevented further deaths and injuries.”
Parents plead not guilty to charges related to school shootings
Crumbly and his parents spent Saturday night in the same Oakland County Jail, but they remain separated.
James and Jennifer Curmbley pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter charges during Saturday morning’s trial. The appearance in court came after authorities spent hours searching for them, a manhunt that began when they failed to appear on Friday.
Police said the couple were found in a Detroit warehouse early Saturday morning, but their attorneys said they intended to turn themselves in.
During questioning of the parents, prosecutors claimed that they allowed their son “free access” to the gun used in the shooting. But Shannon Smith, one of the parents’ attorneys, said the gun was locked.
“When the claim says that this kid has free access to a gun, it’s not true at all,” Smith said. “This court will consider … there is much more to this court than I have been told.”
Soon, Ethan Crumble posted a photo of the rifle on his Instagram account and captioned, “Just got my new beauty today. SIG SAUER 9mm” with a heart-eyes emoji, MacDonald said.
Jennifer Curmbley also posted about the gun on social media and called it “the new Christmas gift,” MacDonald continued.
An Oakland County judge placed bonds to James and Jennifer Cromble for $500,000 each.
CNN’s Shimon Prokopic, Caroline Song, and Elizabeth Joseph contributed to this report.