On Friday, Oakland County, Michigan Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced that she was charging the parents of the Oxford High School shooter with involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of four teens this week.
She claims that parents are responsible because they should have sensed that their son was troubled and prevented him from taking a handgun to school.
McDonald described the events leading up to the shooting, noting that the shooter’s father, James Crumbley, had bought a handgun for his son, and that the shooter’s mother, Jennifer Crumbley, had posted proudly about it on social media.
When their son was caught in school using his cell phone to search for information about ammunition, Mrs. Crumbley allegedly made light of the school’s concerns, telling her son that the lesson of the episode was that he should “learn not to get caught.”
The prosecutor then said that the day before the shooting, a teacher noticed that the shooter had created a drawing with a gun, bloody victims, and messages such as “the thoughts won’t stop, help me.”
The parents were summoned to meet with their son and the principal the next day. There, they were told they had to obtain counseling for their son within 48 hours. According to McDonald, they resisted the idea that their son should be pulled out of school immediately over the disturbing drawing.
McDonald's argument for charging the parents is that they did not ask to search their son's bag, nor ask him where the handgun was, during that meeting.
Oddly enough, she did not question why the school also failed to check his bag considering it was on school premises.
Later that day, the shooting took place that killed four students and wounded several others.
McDonald partly based her case against the parents on the fact that during the meeting with the principal, on school premises, neither parent asked to search their son’s bag or asked him where the handgun was. She did not comment on the school’s failure to search the student’s bag, though it was on school premises (as was the gun).
The shooting took place later that same day. According to McDonald, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, “Ethan, don’t do it,” after news of the shooting broke in the news.
McDonald also said that the fact that James Crumbley rushed home to look for the gun after hearing news of the shooting at the school was evidence that the parents had reason to know beforehand that their son was likely to carry out a mass shooting. James Crumbley called 911 upon finding that the gun was missing, saying he believed his son could be the shooter.
The gun had been stored in the Crumbley’s bedroom in an unlocked drawer, according to McDonald.
Who do you believe is at fault in this situation?
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