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Parents of Michigan boy charged in Oxford school shooting – Redlands Daily Facts

Written by Corey Williams and Ed White

PONTIAC, MI (AFP) – The attorney general filed manslaughter charges Friday against the parents of a teen accused of killing four high school students in Michigan, saying they failed to intervene on the day of the tragedy despite being confronted with a graphic and a chilling letter — “Blood is everywhere” – found in the boy’s office.

Oakland County District Attorney Karen MacDonald said James and Jennifer Crumbley committed “terrible” acts, from buying a handgun on Black Friday and making it available to Ethan Crumble to resisting his expulsion from school when they were called just hours before the shooting.

“I expect parents and everyone to have humanity and step in and stop a potential tragedy,” she said. “My conclusion is that there is absolute reason to believe that this person was dangerous and troubled.”

By mid-afternoon, authorities said they were looking for the couple. Sheriff Mike Bouchard said their attorney, Shannon Smith, agreed to arrange their arrest if charges were brought against them but was unable to reach them.

However, Smith said the Crombley family were not on the run and left town earlier in the week “for their own safety.”

“They’re going back to the area to be tried,” Smith told The Associated Press.

Earlier, the attorney general gave the most accurate account yet of the events leading up to the shooting, three days after four students were killed and others injured at Oxford High School, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit.

Investigators said Ethan Curmbley, 15, came out of the bathroom with a gun, and shot the students in the hallway. He was charged as an adult with murder, terrorism, and other crimes.

Under Michigan law, a manslaughter charge against a parent can be pursued if authorities believe someone contributed to a situation where there was a high probability of harm or death.

Parents in the United States are rarely charged for school shootings involving their children, even with most minors obtaining guns from the home of a parent or relative, according to experts.

MacDonald said school officials became concerned about the younger Crumble on Monday, the day before the shooting, when a teacher saw him looking for ammunition on his phone.

Jennifer Cromble was contacted and later told her son in a text message: “LOL. I’m not mad at you. You should learn not to get caught,” according to the attorney general.

On Tuesday, a teacher found a note on Ethan’s desk and took a photo. It was a drawing of a pistol pointing to the words, “Thoughts won’t stop,” MacDonald said.

There was also a drawing of a bullet, she said, topped with the words: “Blood everywhere.”

Between the pistol and the caliber there was a person who appeared to have been hit by two bullets, bleeding. He also wrote, “My life is useless” and “the world is dead,” according to the prosecutor.

MacDonald said the school quickly met up with Ethan and his parents, who were asked to advise him within 48 hours.

MacDonald said the Crombley family failed to ask their son about the gun or check his bag and “resisted the idea of ​​their son dropping out of school at the time.”

Instead, the teen went back to class and the shooting occurred afterward.

“The idea that a parent could read these words and also know that their son had access to a lethal weapon they gave him is unreasonable – it’s a crime,” the prosecutor said.

Jennifer Curmbley texted her son after the shooting saying, “Ethan, don’t do that,” MacDonald said.

James Curmbley called 911 to say a gun was missing from their home and that Ethan might have been the shooter. MacDonald said the gun was kept in an open drawer in the parents’ bedroom.

MacDonald said Ethan accompanied his father to buy the gun on November 26 and posted pictures of the firearm on social media, saying, “I just got my new beauty today.”

Over the long Thanksgiving weekend, Jennifer Cromble wrote on social media that it was “Mother’s Day and son experiencing their new Christmas gift,” the attorney general said.

In a video message to the community on Thursday, the head of Oxford Community Schools said the secondary school looked like a “war zone” and would not be ready for weeks. Superintendent Tim Thrun repeatedly praised students and staff for how they responded to the violence.

He also acknowledged the Crombley meeting, parents and school officials. The throne did not provide any details but summed it up by saying: “There was no justification for discipline.”

MacDonald was asked about the decision to keep Crumbley in school.

“Of course, he shouldn’t have come back to that class. …I think that’s a universal attitude. I won’t punish or attack, but yes,” she said.

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White reported from Detroit. Mike Householder of Detroit and David Eggert of Lansing, Michigan also contributed to this report.

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