(Video Credit: Fox News)
The parents of the Michigan school shooter, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were taken into custody by police in Detroit following the announcement from prosecutor Karen McDonald that for the first time ever, parents of a shooting suspect would be charged.
The parents of Ethan Crumbley, 15, were arrested less than a mile from the Canadian border in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday in a basement of a building. They were allegedly hiding out in an art studio and had left their car in the building’s parking lot.
Both parents had previously been arrested for DUI in 2005. Jennifer Crumbley has twice been nailed for writing bad checks and James Crumbley has been busted for driving with a suspended license, according to the New York Post. The father also faced legal trouble over child support payments to his ex-wife, the Daily Beast reported.
Those charges pale in comparison to the ones that McDonald just slapped them with. Each parent now faces four charges of involuntary manslaughter in connection to the murderous shooting spree their son allegedly went on at Oxford High School, killing four students and wounding seven others.
(Video Credit: WXYZ-TV Detroit | Channel 7)
The DA is going after them for reportedly refusing to withdraw their son from school after staff stated that he was exhibiting warning signs of violence and needed counseling. They had met with school administrators just hours before the shooting.
On top of that, the father reportedly bought his son a gun on Black Friday as a Christmas present which the boy used in the rampage. A drawing of a bullet with the words “Blood Everywhere” was also found.
The boy posted a picture of a gun on an Instagram account and captioned it, “Just got my new beauty today. SIG SAUER 9mm” with a heart-eyes emoji, McDonald said during a press conference.
She also noted that Jennifer Crumbley posted about the gun on social media, calling it “his new Christmas present” and revealed text messages from the mother.
His mother reportedly took him to a gun range the weekend before the shooting at the school, according to law enforcement.
The day before the shooting, a teacher saw Ethan Crumbley searching ammunition on his phone and reported it to school officials, McDonald said. A teacher also found a drawing that showed a semiautomatic handgun pointing at the words, “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me,” the DA reported.
McDonald was slammed for making the charges public before the couple was even in custody. An Oakland County undersheriff and two lawyers representing the Crumbleys also blasted the DA for the move, according to a report cited by Fox News.
“I’ve been sheriff for 21 years,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told “NewsNation Now” in an interview, “and I’ve never had anyone have a press conference announcing charges before we had the opportunity to have somebody in custody.”
Authorities searched for the couple for hours on Friday. The U.S. Marshals offered a reward of $10,000 for each of them if captured. A business owner reportedly recognized the mother and called 911.
The parents were unarmed and surrendered without incident to the police, according to Detroit Police Chief James White. He remarked that they appeared “distressed” during the arrest. Taking off as the couple did is likely to result in further charges being filed against them.
The person who let them into the building where they were eventually found is also in hot water with investigators and may face charges, the police chief said.
White praised police officers and the informant following the arrests.
“I could not be prouder,” he stated. “Tonight, again, our community came through for us.”
(Vidoe Credit: CNN News)
Earlier on Friday, the couple’s attorneys claimed that the parents left the area for their safety and were planning on returning for their arraignment.
“The Crumbleys left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety. They are returning to the area to be arraigned. They are not fleeing from law enforcement despite recent comments in media reports,” attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman told Fox News in an interview.
“This isn’t indicative of turning yourself in, hiding in a warehouse,” White commented to reporters early Saturday.
“We’re tired of this,” he remarked referring to school and other mass shootings. White also told reporters the manhunt should take “as much manpower as it takes” to give the families of the victims “the closure that they need.”
Detroit police said that the Crumbleys were turned over to the Oakland County Sheriff’s department and would be transported to a jail in Oakland County, Michigan.
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