Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald has filed involuntary manslaughter charges against James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of 15-year-old school shooter Ethan Crumbley.
Under Michigan law, an involuntary manslaughter charge can be fired if prosecutors believe someone contributed to a situation where the probability of harm or death was high. Authorities said James Crumbley is the owner of the handgun used in Tuesday’s mass shooting.
‘The parents were the only individuals in the position to know the access to weapons,’ McDonald said Thursday. The gun, which Ethan’s father, James Crumbley, had just purchased four days before the rampage, ‘seems to have been just freely available to that individual.’
McDonald scheduled a news briefing for noon to announce the charges involving James and Jennifer Crumbley.
Bill Kucyk, the owner of a local gun range, told Fox 2 that the murder weapon – a 9 mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 – has been out of production for years and was likely purchased through a private seller.
Ethan has been charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder, and terrorism, for the shooting on Tuesday.
A source told Fox 2 ahead of Friday’s press conference that Jennifer and James Crumbley will face criminal charges in connection with the mass shooting.
The school shooting – the deadliest in the US since 2018 – claimed the lives of Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17. Seven more people were injured. Three were in hospitals in stable condition.
The semi-automatic gun was purchased legally by Ethan Crumbley’s father on Black Friday, according to investigators on the case.
Parents are rarely charged with school shootings involving their children, even if a minor get guns from a parent or relative’s house, according to experts.
Michigan has no law on the books that requires gun owners to keep weapons locked away from children. McDonald, however, suggested there’s more to build a case on.
‘All I can say at this point is those actions on mom and dad’s behalf go far beyond negligence,” she told WJR-AM. ‘We obviously are prosecuting the shooter to the fullest extent. … There are other individuals who should be held accountable.’
Later at a news conference, McDonald said she hoped to have an announcement ‘in the next 24 hours.” She had firmly signaled that Crumbley’s parents were under scrutiny when she filed charges against their son Wednesday.
Sheriff Mike Bouchard disclosed Wednesday that the parents met with school officials about their son’s classroom behavior, just a few hours before the shooting.
McDonald said information about what had troubled the school ‘will most likely come to light soon.’
Investigators said the attack was premeditated, citing videos Crumbley recorded the night before in which he talked about shooting students, as well as a journal recovered from his backpack that described his intent to murder classmates.
Crumbley stayed in school Tuesday and later emerged from a bathroom with his father’s new gun, firing at students in the hallway, police said.
The superintendent for the district late Thursday posted a YouTube video where he said the teenager was called to the office before the shooting but ‘no discipline was warranted.’