The parents of Ethan Crumbley, the Michigan teen charged with killing four and injuring more at Oxford High School, were discovered in a most unusual way. After disappearing shortly after the incident, the pair were found “hiding” in an industrial building. Hours later, they were arraigned and pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges.
As per The Associated Press, earlier in the week James and Jennifer Crumbley had left town earlier, as per their attorney, “for their own safety,” with the alleged intention to return to Oxford later to face charges. Days later, a car tied to the Crumbleys was spotted outside a Detroit building, where they had been camping out. When they were captured, the parents were said to appear “distressed.”
Detroit Police Chief James E. White believes the Crumbleys “were aided in getting into the building.” Whoever helped them may also face charges.
It’s rare for parents of school shooters to face criminal charges, according to AP, unless authorities believe they contributed in some fashion:
A prosecutor filed involuntary manslaughter charges against the Crumbleys on Friday, accusing them of failing 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.
The Crumbleys 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.
Moreover, the Crumbleys had been ordered to give their son counseling within 48 hours after he was caught with disturbing drawings of a gun and the words “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.” They didn’t check his bag, which contained a handgun, and were even reluctant to take him away from the school. Shortly thereafter, their son opened fire on his classmates.