DETROIT — Hours after a prosecutor filed involuntary manslaughter charges against the parents of the suspect in the Oxford High School shooting, authorities claimed they appeared to be fleeing from authorities.

Jennifer and James Crumbley were each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter after the prosecutor said they bought the firearm for their son as a Christmas gift. Their 15-year-old son, Ethan, is accused of fatally shooting four students and injuring seven others at Oxford High School on Tuesday.

During a hearing that started around noon, a lieutenant with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said the parents were not in custody. As of Friday night, the Oakland County Fugitive Team and several other agencies were still searching for them.

“The action of fleeing and ignoring their attorney certainly adds weight to the charges,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a release Friday. They cannot hide their role in this tragedy.

Both the U.S. Marshals and the sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office and the U.S. Marshals spoke They are working togetherIn the pursuit of the Crumbleys, to “bring them to justice.”

The family lawyers stated that they aren’t fleeing the authorities, and the couple will be returning to the same area where they were evacuated from during the shock following the tragic events.

“The Crumbleys evacuated town that night because of the tragedy. They were concerned for their safety.” They are returning to the area to be arraigned,” their lawyers Smith and Mariell Lehman said. 

The gun had been stored in an unlocked drawer in their house, and Crumbley’s parents did not ask where it was when they were called to the school the day of the shooting for a disturbing drawing their son made of a firearm, said Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald at a news conference Friday.

At this point, Ethan Crumbley is being searched by his parents. However, we are prepared to provide any assistance requested by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office,” said Mara Schneider, a spokesperson for the FBI’s Detroit field office.

Ethan Crumbley had posted about the firearm online and researched ammunition while at school, McDonald said the investigation revealed. She said that he was allowed to go back to school the following the meeting with his parents.  

“The facts of this case are so egregious,” McDonald said.

Experts say that parents of shooters are rarely charged with any chargesMichigan School Shooting is “so horrendous” that the parents of the suspect are being charged.

Michigan shooting suspect in school shooting faces death sentenceWhat does murder and terrorism mean?

Crumbley, an adult charged with murder, terror and other offences in a systematic and deliberate massacre was charged on Wednesday.

McDonalds answered the question, “Yes.”

“While the shooter was the one who entered the high school and pulled the trigger, there are other individuals who contributed to the events on Nov. 30, and it’s my intention to hold them accountable as well,” she said. 

We know what Friday is like:

Prosecutor is criticized by Sheriff’s Office for Searching For Parents 

As of Friday night, authorities from several agencies are still looking for the parents of the suspected shooter. The Oakland County Undersheriff blames the county prosecutor.

Oakland Undersheriff Mike McCabe said that he has never witnessed a prosecutor announce major charges without the suspect in custody.

“We won’t allow anyone to turn themselves in,” said he. He said, “We go after people who have been granted a warrant by a judge.”

David Williams was the chief assistant procuror and said that no one is to be blamed but McCabe when he mentioned the McCabe criticism.

Williams explained that “The Crumbleys have been released because they continue to be irresponsible.” Williams said that the Crumbleys had promised to surrender but they didn’t. We are in constant communication and trust that the Crumbleys can be captured.

Paul Egan, The Detroit Free Press

Prosecutor: The gun was the ‘Christmas gift’

At a news conference Friday, McDonald laid out how Ethan Crumbley got the weapon other warning signs in the days leading up to the shooting.

McDonald said Ethan Crumbley was there when his father bought the 9mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 on Nov. 26. The same day, the younger Crumbley posted photos of the weapon online, calling it his “new beauty.” His mom said in a post the following day, “Mom and son day testing out his new Christmas present,” McDonald said.

“Clearly based on the statements of the shooter (and) the statements of mom, that was his gun,” McDonald said.

ProsecutorOfficials at school knew that the shooting suspect had searched online for ammo and made drawings.

The drawing of the suspect prompted concerns on day one

The victim, a 15-year old boy, was also caught searching online for ammunition before the incident. McDonald said school officials contacted his mother about the online search, leaving a voicemail and email, but received no response. Crumbley’s mother instead texted him the same day, “LOL I’m not mad at you. McDonalds stated that you must learn to avoid being caught.

Hours before the shooting, Crumbley was found with a disturbing drawing that included a a firearm and someone who appeared to be bleeding, McDonald said.

The drawing was taken by a teacher, who immediately called Crumbley’s family. McDonald’s said that Crumbley altered the drawing after it was presented to him and Crumbley’s parents.

Crumbley was allowed to go back to class after a counselor informed his parents. His parents did not ask him about the firearm at that time nor did they search his backpack, McDonald said.

McDonalds said, “Of course he shouldn’t be going back to that class.”

After reports of the shooting at the school, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, “Ethan don’t do it,” McDonald said. James Crumbley drove home to search for the firearm and called 911 to report it missing, saying he believed his son was the shooter, McDonald said.

“I am angry because I’m a mother. As a prosecutor, I am angry. I feel angry for the people who live in this area. I’m angry. McDonalds said that McDonald’s could have prevented many of these problems.

Copicat threats in metro Detroit threaten schools and parents

Copycat threats circulated on social media and districts canceled classes Thursday out of caution for students’ 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 made at South Lake High School, about 45 miles from Oxford, and prompted a police investigation.

“If you’re making threats, we’re going to find you,” Bouchard said during a news conference Thursday that was specifically called to address the estimated hundreds of copycat threats reported. “It is ridiculous you’re inflaming the fears and passion of parents, teachers, and the community in the midst of a real tragedy.”

Threats are being investigated by the FBI as well as Secret Service. 

False threats can lead to criminal charges, including a 20 year felony and misdemeanor malicious use of a phone.

Parents are trying to find a balance between securing their children and not compromising their mental or emotional well-being.

Jill Dillon (51) recalls dropping her 14 year-old son at school Wednesday morning. “I felt like i was going to throw it up” she said. It was nauseating to think that I am supposed to take him somewhere safe. But is he going to be safe?

David Roden, a 14-year-old freshman at Northville High School, which stayed open Thursday, said the confusion of what’s real and what’s not was the scariest part.

Everyone was nervous. He said, “It’s kinda weird being so close to the situation.”

— Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press

False Instagram accounts multiplied

Fake social media accounts claiming to be the 15-year-old charged in the Oxford High School shooting began popping up even before his name was released 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 deceiving accounts is a common problem in the wake of mass shootings, often is not illegal and sometimes does not violate social media platforms’ terms of service. 

“Unfortunately, poor taste is not against the law,” said Lt. Mike Shaw of the Michigan State Police.

It is unlikely any social media accounts that chronicled Crumbley’s alleged criminal activity remain active on these platforms, said Cliff Lampe, a professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information. 

Lampe explained that social media accounts belonging to alleged perpetrators of active threats are removed through opaque processes in such situations. The platforms are alerted by either their algorithms or law enforcement.

The tendency of social media platforms to make some user accounts “disappear in the night” can help feed the creation of these fake accounts, Lampe said. However, the common practice of setting up “sock puppets” online would happen regardless, he said.

“Sock puppet accounts and spoof accounts have been part of internet culture for almost as long as the internet has been around,” Lampe said. You can read more about it here. 

— Ashley Nerbovig, Detroit Free Press

Contributing: Elisha Anderson, Paul Egan; Detroit Free Press; The Associated Press



Source: USAToday.com

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