Parents of Michigan boy charged in Oxford school shooting

Oxford High
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A prosecutor filed involuntary manslaughter charges Friday against the parents of a teen accused of killing four students at a Michigan high school, saying they failed to intervene on the day of the tragedy despite being confronted with a drawing and chilling message — “blood everywhere” — that was found at the boy’s desk.

James and Jennifer Crumbley committed “egregious” acts, from buying a gun on Black Friday and making it available to Ethan Crumbley to resisting his removal from school when they were summoned a few hours before the shooting, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said.

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

By mid-afternoon, authorities said they were searching for the couple. Sheriff Mike Bouchard said their attorney, Shannon Smith, had agreed to arrange their arrest if charges were filed but hadn’t been able to reach them.

Smith, however, said the Crumbleys weren’t on the run and had left town earlier in the week “for their own safety.”

“They are returning to the area to be arraigned,” Smith told The Associated Press.

Earlier, the prosecutor offered the most precise account so far of the events that led to the shooting, three days after four students were killed and others were wounded at Oxford High School, roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit.

Ethan Crumbley, 15, emerged from a bathroom with a gun, shooting students in the hallway, investigators said. He’s charged as an adult with murder, terrorism and other crimes.

Under Michigan law, the involuntary manslaughter charge filed against the parents can be pursued if authorities believe someone contributed to a situation where there was a high chance of harm or death.

Parents in the U.S. are rarely charged in school shootings involving their children, even as most minors get guns from a parent or relative’s house, according to experts.

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