The parents of a Michigan teenager accused of murdering four high school classmates were taken into custody Saturday, a day after each was charged with four counts of manslaughter in connection with the campus mass shooting.
Authorities began searching for James and Jennifer Crumbley after Oakland County prosecutors announced the charges Friday, saying the Crumbleys bought the gun for their son as a Christmas present and then ignored any warning signs that could have foreshadowed. such a massacre.
Detroit police said in the early hours of Saturday that they had detained the couple.
Police found the two in what “looked like a residential building,” Detroit police spokesman Rudy Harper said.
“We arrested them,” Harper said when asked if the parents had turned themselves in.
The couple’s 15-year-old son Ethan Crumbley is being held without bail and has been charged as an adult on suspicion of carrying out the deadliest 2021 U.S. school shooting Tuesday at Oxford High School. , about 40 miles (60 km) to the north. from Detroit.
Crumbley’s parents were expected to appear for an arraignment Friday afternoon but stopped responding to calls from their attorneys, according to Oakland County Sheriff Mike McCabe, prompting a search by the team. Sheriff’s Fugitive Arrest.
After they failed to appear, the U.S. Marshals Service said it had taken over the case and was joining Oakland County officials in the search.
“The act of fleeing and ignoring his attorney certainly adds weight to the charges,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a statement Friday. “They cannot escape their role in this tragedy.”
Still, the parents’ attorneys issued a statement Friday saying they intended to return for their arraignment.
“They are not running from law enforcement,” said attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman.
Purchase of weapons
Four days before the shooting, Ethan accompanied his father to a gun store, where James Crumbley purchased a 9mm pistol, prosecutors said.
Ethan posted photos of the gun on social media and wrote, “I just got my new beauty today.” The next day, her mother posted that the two were “trying out their new Christmas present,” Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said.
McDonald detailed a number of other warning signs that he said parents failed to act on.
On November 21, a teacher found Ethan Crumbley searching his phone for ammunition. Later his mother texted him: “LOL, I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.”
The morning of the shooting, a teacher discovered drawings by Ethan Crumbley showing a gun, a bullet, and a bleeding figure alongside the words “Blood everywhere”, “My life is useless” and “Thoughts don’t stop. – help me. . “
School officials summoned the Crumbleys and instructed Ethan to receive counseling within 48 hours, McDonald said. Parents “resisted” the idea of taking their son home from school and did not search his backpack or ask about the weapon, he said.
After the Crumbleys left the meeting without their son, Ethan Crumbley returned to class and then emerged from a bathroom with the gun, killing four students and injuring seven others, authorities said.