DETROIT — The search for James and Jennifer Crumbley has been taken over by the U.S. Officials announced the news Friday evening via Marshals Service.

Working with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, marshals were continuing an hours-long manhunt for the parents of Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old student who is accused of fatally shooting four students and injuring seven others at Oxford High School on Tuesday. After charges in relation to the incident were filed, hours later the police began searching for the couple.

Freitag, Late The U.S. Marshalls issued posters titled “Wanted”Crumbley was offered $10,000 reward for any information that led to his arrest.

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. 

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.

However, the lawyers for the family said that the couple are not fleeing authorities. They have returned to the region after briefly leaving town amid the chaos surrounding the tragedy.

“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. McDonald said that Ethan Crumbley was permitted to return to class the day after the meeting with the parents.  

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

Experts agree that it is rare to find parents who are shooters charged.Michigan School Shooting is “so horrendous” that the parents of the suspect are being charged.

Michigan School Shooting Suspect is facing Life in PrisonWhat do murder, terrorist charges refer to?

Crumbley was arrested Wednesday for murder, terroristic and other offenses in an investigation that investigators called a deliberate and methodical massacre.

McDonald’s responded that her office is still investigating any charges against school officials when she was asked if it was.

“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. 

Let’s see what we can learn Friday.

The Sheriff’s Office blasts the Prosecutor for his investigation into search for parents 

Police from many agencies continued to search for the shooter’s parents on Friday night. As a result, the Oakland County sheriff blamed their disappearance on the county prosecutor.

Oakland Undersheriff Mike McCabe stated that “in my 44 years of career, I have never seen a prosecutor make a charge in a major case without the defendant being in custody first.”

“We won’t allow anyone to turn themselves in,” said he. He said, “When a judge authorizes a warrant, we go after them.”

When McCabe made the negative remarks, David Williams, chief assistant prosecutor, stated that nobody was to blame except the Crumbleys.

Williams stated that the Crumbleys were free because they have a history of being irresponsible. They promised they would turn themselves in, but didn’t. “We have maintained constant contact with the sheriff’s department investigators and are certain that the Crumbleys would be arrested.”

Paul Egan of The Detroit Free Press

Prosecutor – Gun was a ‘Christmas present.

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 the day for shooting

The suspect, aged 15, was also found looking for ammunition online at school prior to the attack. 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.

One teacher snapped a photograph of Crumbley’s drawing and his parents were immediately contacted. McDonalds stated that Crumbley had made changes to the drawing when he brought it in with Crumbley, his parents, and school counselor.

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. As a resident of this county, I am angry. I’m angry. McDonalds said that McDonalds could have prevented many of these things.

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. 

McDonald’s stated that false threats may lead to false threat of terrorist charges. This is a 20-year sentence felony as well as misdemeanor malicious use of the telephone.

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

Jill Dillon (51), recalls feeling like she was about to vomit after dropping her 14-year old son off at school on Wednesday morning. “It was very nauseating thinking I should be taking him somewhere safe. And is that really what he will be doing?

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 on edge. 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 an opaque process in case there is a threat. 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. Learn more. 

— Ashley Nerbovig, Detroit Free Press

Miriam Marini (Co-Author), Christine MacDonald and Elisha Anderson, Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, The Associated Press



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