PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) – A Michigan prosecutor on Friday filed manslaughter charges against the parents of a boy accused of killing four high school students in Oxford, after earlier saying their actions were going ” far beyond neglect, âhis office mentioned.
Jennifer and James Crumbley have been charged with four counts of manslaughter.
“Parents were the only people who could know access to guns,” Oakland County District Attorney Karen McDonald said Thursday. The weapon “appears to have just been freely available to this individual.”
Ethan Crumbley, 15, has been charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder and terrorism, in connection with the shooting at Oxford High School on Tuesday in Oakland County, about 50 kilometers away north of Detroit.
Four students were killed and seven others were injured. Three were hospitalized in stable condition.
The semi-automatic pistol was bought legally by Crumbley’s father last week, investigators said.
In the United States, parents are rarely charged with school shootings involving their children, even though most minors get guns from the home of a relative or loved one, experts say.
No Michigan law requires gun owners to keep guns out of the reach of children. McDonald, however, suggested there was more to show.
âAll I can say at this point is that these actions on behalf of mommy and daddy go way beyond neglect,â she told WJR-AM. âWe’re obviously chasing the shooter whenever possible. â¦ There are other people who should be held accountable.
Later, at a press conference, McDonald’s said she hoped to have an announcement “within the next 24 hours.” She had firmly signaled that Crumbley’s parents were under surveillance when she filed charges against their son on Wednesday.
Sheriff Mike Bouchard revealed on Wednesday that the parents had met with school officials about their son’s behavior in class, just hours before the shooting.
McDonald said the pArnts were called to the school after the teacher found a drawing of a gun, blood, the words “help me” on the suspect’s desk.
Crumbley stayed in school Tuesday and later came out of a bathroom with a gun, shooting students in the hallway, police said.
The district superintendent posted a video on YouTube Thursday evening in which he said the teenager was called to the office before the shooting but “no discipline was warranted.”
Tim Throne, head of Oxford community schools, said the school looks like a “war zone” and won’t be ready for weeks. But he repeatedly credited the students and staff for the way they responded to the violence.
âTo say I’m still in shock and numb is probably an understatement. These events that have happened will not define us, âThrone said, face dark and speaking slowly, in the 12-minute video.
âI want you to know that there was a lot of talk about the student who was apprehended, he was called into the office and all that stuff. No discipline was justified, âsaid Throne. âThere is no disciplinary file in high school. Yes, this student had contact with our front office and, yes, his parents were on campus on November 30th.
Throne said he couldn’t immediately release further details.
White reported from Detroit. Associated Press reporter Mike Householder in Detroit also contributed to this report.
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