Parents of Michigan school shooting suspect charged with involuntary manslaughter

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hugs Oakland County executive Dave Coulter as two holiday flowers and pays his respects on December 2 at Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan.Jake May / The Associated Press

The parents of a teen accused of killing four students at a Michigan high school were charged Friday with involuntary manslaughter, as a prosecutor described chilling moments that day when a teacher was shown a drawing of a gun, a man Blood was pouring out and the words “Help me” came from the boy’s table.

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Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said the parents committed “serious” acts, including buying a gun and providing it to Ethan Crumbley and failing to intervene when he was called to school Tuesday and with drawings was encountered.

McDonald’s said school officials asked James and Jennifer Crumbley to engage their 15-year-old in counseling.

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According to police, he returned to class and later emerged from the bathroom with a gun, firing at students in the hallway.

Jennifer Crumble wrote to her son after shooting, “Ethan, don’t do it,” McDonald said.

“The purpose of these allegations is to hold individuals who contributed to this tragedy accountable and to send the message that gun owners have a responsibility,” McDonald said. “When they fail to fulfill that responsibility, there are serious and criminal consequences.”

It was not immediately known whether the Crumblies had attorneys who could comment on the involuntary manslaughter charges. Under Michigan law, charges can be pursued if prosecutors believe someone contributed to a situation where the harm or death was greater.

Ethan Crumbley has been charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempt to murder and terrorism, for the shooting Tuesday at an Oakland County school about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit.

Four students were killed and seven others were injured in this. The condition of three was in stable hospitals.

According to experts, in the US parents are rarely charged in school shootings involving their children, while most minors obtain guns from a parent or relative’s home.

Sheriff Mike Bouchard revealed Wednesday that the parents had met with school officials about their son’s classroom behavior hours before the shooting.

The district superintendent posted a YouTube video late Thursday in which he said the teen was called to the office before the shooting, but “there was no discipline.”

Oxford Community Schools leader Tim Throne said the high school looked like a “war zone” and would not be ready for weeks. But he repeatedly credited students and staff for how they reacted to the violence.

“To say that I am still in shock and stunned is probably an understatement. The events that have happened will not define us,” Throne, grim-faced and soft-spoken, said in the 12-minute video.

“I want you to know that there has been a lot of talk about the student who was caught, that he was called to the office and all that stuff. No discipline was warranted,” Throne said. There are no discipline records in the school. Yes, this student had contact with our front office, and yes, his parents were on campus on November 30.

Throne said it could not immediately release additional details.

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