In the wake of the school shooting at Oxford High School, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said she is angry.
“I am angry. I’m angry as a mother, as the prosecutor, I’m angry as a person that lives in this county,” she said, at a news conference where she announced charges against the parents of the suspected shooter.
She said that while there was a “perfectly executed response” by the school during the active shooting event, there were a lot of simple things that could have prevented the tragedy from happening.
“We have great law enforcement and good training, but I said before, four kids were murdered and seven more injured. So yes, I think we should all be very angry and we should take a very hard look at what is in place in terms of criminal responsibility, what gun owners are required to do,” McDonald said.
She said, “I am not here to say that people shouldn’t own guns.” McDonald added that she hopes that the involuntary manslaughter charges send a message about the responsibility of gun ownership.
“It’s your responsibility, it’s your duty to make sure that you don’t give access to this deadly weapon to somebody that you have reason to believe is going to harm someone,” McDonald said.
She added that looking at the evidence uncovered in the investigation so far, it’s the prosecutions position that “it’s impossible not to conclude that there was a reason to believe that he was going to hurt somebody.”
During a Friday news conference, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald detailed events leading up to charges of involuntary manslaughter against the parents of Oxford High School shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley.
McDonald called the actions of the parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, “egregious,” saying that “gun owners have a responsibility.”
Four students died in Tuesday’s shooting.
Here’s a timeline of how the events unfolded, according to the prosecutor:
- Nov. 26: Ethan Crumbley’s father, James Crumbley, purchased a gun with his son present.
- On or about Nov. 26: Ethan Crumbley posted photos of a semi-automatic gun on social media with a caption: “Just got my new beauty today. SIG SAUER 9mm.”
- On or about Nov. 27: Jennifer Crumbley, Ethan Crumbley’s mother, made a social media post that read, “mom and son day testing out his new Christmas present.”
- Nov. 29: A teacher at Oxford High School observed Ethan searching for ammunition on his phone and reported that information to school officials. His parents did not reply when the school attempted to contact them. Later, Jennifer Crumbley exchanged texts with Ethan stating, “LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.”
- Nov. 30: On the morning of the shooting, Ethan’s teacher came across a note that “alarmed her to the point that she took a picture of it on her cell phone.” The note contained “a drawing of a semiautomatic handgun pointing at the words ‘the thoughts won’t stop. help me.’” Also included in the note was a drawing of a bullet with “blood everywhere” written above it. Between the gun and the bullet is a drawing of a person who appears to have been shot twice and bleeding with a laughing emoji under it. The note also has “my life is useless” and “the world is dead” scrawled on it.
- The parents were “immediately summoned to the school.” A school counselor removed Ethan from class with his backpack and obtained the note, but the drawings of the gun, bloody figure and writings were all “altered.” At the meeting with school officials, his parents were shown the drawing and were told they had to submit their son to counseling within 48 hours. His parents did not ask the whereabouts of the gun and did not to inspect his backpack for the gun which he had with him, according to McDonald. His parents “resisted” the idea of taking Ethan out of school and left without him.
Prosecutor: Suspect’s parents left school without son after being told of his behavior morning of shooting
Oakland County, Michigan, Prosecutor Karen McDonald outlined some of the key events that took place on the day of the shooting.
A teacher of shooting suspect, Ethan Crumbley, found a note on his desk on the morning of the shooting that “alarmed her to the point she took a picture of it on her cell phone.”
She said the note included a drawing of a semiautomatic handgun pointing at the words, “the thoughts won’t stop, help me.” The note also included a section with a drawing of a bullet with the words “blood everywhere.”
The parents of the suspect “were immediately summoned” to the school, McDonald said. The prosecutor noted that the suspect altered the note before it was retrieved by a counselor.
“At the meeting James and Jennifer Crumbley were shown the drawing and were advised that they were required to get the — their son into counseling within 48 hours,” she said.
The prosecutor said the parents “failed to ask their son if he had his gun with him or where his gun was located and failed to inspect his backpack for the presence of the gun which he had with him.”
The parents resisted the idea of their son leaving the school at that time and they left the school without him, she added. He was returned to the classroom.
“I am angry”: Prosecutor says simple things could have prevented Michigan school shootingLive updates: Michigan school shooting and search for Ethan Crumbley’s parents