The parents of the 15-year-old student who opened fire at his high school in the United States on Tuesday and killed four students were arrested on Saturday after being charged with manslaughter for buying the weapon the teenager used in the attack.
James and Jennifer Crumbley were wanted since friday by the police and the FBI. And they were located by agents in an industrial building in Detroit, in the state of Michigan, about 60 kilometers from the shooting. His vehicle had been found shortly before, near there.
“I’m surprised they’re here,” Detroit Police Chief James E. White told reporters. And he specified that one of the members of the couple was “very affected, very anguished” when the agents found them.
Cell phones off and $ 4,000
Lawyers for the couple said on Friday that Ethan Crumbley’s parents would surrender to authorities and that they were not on the run but left town the night of the shooting “for their own safety.”
But the fact that withdraw $ 4,000 and turn off their cell phones set off the alarms, police sources told CNN.
The Detroit police chief speaks to the press after the arrest of the parents of the boy who shot at a school and killed four classmates. Photo: REUTERS
They are each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, for having allowed their son to use a firearm that they had bought, in an unusual decision in the US courts.
Ethan Crumbley, 15, “was the one who pulled the trigger,” but “there are other people who contributed to the events of November 30 and I want to hold them accountable as well,” Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said. .
“These charges are intended to hold the people who contributed to this tragedy accountable and also to send the message that gun owners have a responsibility,” the prosecutor explained.
School shootings are a scourge in the United States, a country where the right to own guns is guaranteed in the Constitution.
Four students, between the ages of 14 and 17, were killed and six others injured, along with a teacher, in the Nov. 30 shooting in the small town of Oxford, about 40 miles north of Detroit.
Ethan Crumbley, who surrendered to the police without offering resistance, was accused of “murder” and “terrorist act” and could spend the rest of his days in prison, as he is being processed as an adult.
The young man who pleaded not guilty to a judge on Wednesday is being held in solitary confinement.
The attacker’s parents were detained after a police search. Photo: REUTERS
Guns on sale and disturbing messages
James Crumbley had bought the semiautomatic pistol his son used, a Sig Sauer 9mm, four days before the tragedy, on the big discount day of Black Friday, which opens the holiday shopping season. It was an early Christmas present for her son.
After the purchase, the teenager posted a photo of the gun on Instagram. “I just got my new beauty today,” he wrote alongside a heart emoji.
Over the weekend, Jennifer Crumbley posted images on social media noting that her son was “trying out her new Christmas present”.
According to the police, the young man had recorded a video the day before the shooting on his cell phone, where he announced his intention to use his weapon at school, without actually divulging it.
On the day of the shooting, Ethan Crumbley was summoned with his parents by school personnel, who saw with “alarm” a note found by a teacher on the boy’s desk, McDonald said.
A drawing of a semiautomatic pistol pointed to the phrase “Thoughts won’t stop. Help me.”
Elsewhere, amid images of bullets, it was written: “Blood everywhere”, “My life is useless” and “The world is dead”.
The school authorities told the parents that they must take the young man to therapy within 48 hours.
“The idea that a father can read those words knowing that his son had access to a deadly weapon that they had given him is inconceivable and I believe it is a crime,” the prosecutor said on Friday.
She also blamed James and Jennifer Crumbley for not asking her son if he had his gun with him.
McDonald said the parents resisted taking their son home and the boy returned to class. After a while, he went to the bathroom and then came out with the gun, which he carried in his backpack. He fired at least 30 bullets.
McDonald said that when Jennifer Crumbley found out about the shooting, she texted her son. “Ethan, don’t do it,” he wrote.
Upon hearing the news, James Crumbley called 911 to report that a gun was missing from his home and that he believed his son could be the perpetrator of the shooting. The pistol had been locked in the marriage room.