Per Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald, the gun used in the shooting that left four students dead appears to have been “just freely available” to 15-year-old Ethan. “The parents were the only individuals in the position to know the access to weapons,” McDonald said Friday, per the Associated Press. Jennifer and James Crumbley were both charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
McDonald also shared details about what took place prior to the shooting. That morning, a teacher found a note on Ethan’s desk that “alarmed her.” Included in the note was a drawing of a semiautomatic handgun that pointed to the words, “The thoughts won’t stop, help me.” McDonald added: “In another section of the note was a drawing of a bullet, with the following words above that bullet: ‘Blood everywhere.’”
When Ethan’s parents were summoned to the school they “were advised that they were required to get their son into counseling within 48 hours.” Not only did the parents “fail” to ask where Ethan’s gun was located, they also “resisted the idea of their son leaving the school at that time. Instead, James and Jennifer Crumbley left the high school without their son. He was returned to the classroom.”
Ethan Crumbley was previously announced to have been charged as an adult with multiple counts including terrorism causing death, first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder, and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. His father, James, bought a gun from an Oxford shop on Nov. 26.
At the time of the sale, Ethan was also present, per a store employee. That gun, a 9mm Sig Sauer SP 2022, was used by Ethan in the shooting on Nov. 30. According to McDonald, the investigation has found that social media activity from the parents described the gun as being a Christmas gift for Ethan. It was stored in an unlocked drawer in the parents’ bedroom.
“Gun ownership is a right, and with that right comes great responsibility,” McDonald said during a press conference on Friday. The presser also saw McDonald reflecting on the “devastating week” the community has endured since the Nov. 30 shooting, adding that some of those who were injured in the shooting have recently shown signs of improvement.
Complex has reached out to McDonald’s office for additional comment.
According to The Detroit News, the Oakland County Fugitive Apprehension Team is looking for James and Jennifer Crumbley, who were scheduled to surrender at 2 p.m. following charges being filed. “Their attorney [Shannon Smith] had assured us that if a decision was made to charge them, she would produce them for arrest,” Mike McCabe, Oakland County Undersheriff, said. “Our last conversation with the attorney was that she had been trying to reach them by phone and text, and they were not responding.”
In response, their attorneys made it clear they were not attempting to flee. “The Crumbleys left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety,” Smith and Mariell Lehman said. “They are returning to the area to be arraigned. They are not fleeing from law enforcement despite recent comments in media reports.”
On Wednesday, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office announced the death of a fourth shooting victim, 17-year-old Justin Shilling. Tate Myre (16), Hana St. Juliana (14), and Madisyn Baldwin (17) died on Tuesday. When the suspect was taken into custody, authorities are said to have found 18 live rounds, while three magazines and 30 used rounds were found at the school.