Ignored Alerts Leading to Deadly Michigan High School Shooting | International

Ethan Crumbley, 15, between his parents Jennifer Crumbley and James Crumbley, in police photos.OAKLAND COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE (Reuters)

Shootings in educational centers in the United States often end with the perpetrator killed under bullets by law enforcement, arrested or killing himself with his own weapon. In some cases, as in the tragedy that occurred in Newtown (Connecticut) —which will be 9 years old on the 14th — the gunman even kills his mother in their home and then starts a bloody escalation that left 26 people deceased, including 20 children. What is not usually common is that the parents of the executor end up being arrested and accused of involuntary manslaughter.

James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of Ethan Crumbley, 15, were arrested in the early hours of Saturday at an art store in Detroit after justice declared them fugitives. In his search and capture, FBI agents, members of the US Marshalls federal security agency and the specialized team in that matter in Oakland intervened. For the county prosecutor, Karen McDonald, the details of what happened before, during and after the shooting are disturbing enough to press charges against the Crumbleys. Both Ethan and his parents are in the Oakland jail, isolated from the general prison population and under a suicide watch protocol.

To make a chronological linear account that reconstructs what happened and that serves to clarify responsibilities in the Oxford shooting, we must go back to the day after Thanksgiving. On Friday, November 26, Ethan’s 45-year-old father bought his son a semi-automatic 9mm Sig Sauer pistol as an early Christmas present. The young man was quick to show off his new possession on social media: “My new beauty,” he wrote.

The next day, Saturday, November 27, a day of rest and traditionally spent with the family for one of the most important holidays in the United States, Ethan’s mother, 43, posted information on her profiles on the networks in those who tested the weapon with his son. So far, it might seem like a normal day in a nation whose inhabitants have a strong and close relationship with firearms since childhood. When the weekend came to an end, Ethan’s gun was kept in his parents’ room, in a place where the young man had free access to it.

On Monday 29, Michigan resumed classes after the holiday. During the morning of class, a teacher informed Jennifer Crumbley that her son was searching the internet for ammunition for a firearm. This is where the first alarm fails miserably. The teenager’s mother did not think it was anything out of the ordinary and even sent a text message to her son in which she said: “LOL [Laugh Out Loud, risas]. I’m not mad at you. ” Mrs. Crumbley’s recommendation explains why she ignored the first alarm: “What you have to do is learn not to get caught,” she recommended.

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Tuesday the 30th arrived, the day of the murders. In the morning, one of Ethan Crumbley’s teachers found a note on which the teenager had scribbled a pistol, a gunshot wounded person, a smiley emoticon, and three premonitory phrases: “Blood all over the place”; “The thoughts are not going to stop”; Help me”. Those responsible for the institute contacted Ethan’s parents, who attended a meeting that morning in which they were advised to seek professional help for their son, according to prosecutor McDonald.

But not only did the Crumbleys not want Ethan to leave the classrooms, they didn’t even ask him if the gun was in his possession or check his backpack. Neither did the school. Ignored alarms. “The simple idea that a father can read those words and also be aware that his son has access to a deadly weapon, which they gave him themselves, is inconceivable and I think it is criminal,” says the prosecutor who has ordered the arrest of the Crumbleys.

As it was, Ethan returned to class. From that moment, the worst nightmare of any parent who leaves their child in the morning in an educational center was unleashed. And this was number 222, with still one month to go until 2021, the year with the most shootings in schools, 100 more than in 2019, which makes it the deadliest.

According to the authorities’ account, at 12:50 p.m. Ethan entered the bathroom with his backpack and came out holding his Christmas present, with which he began to shoot. At 1.22 pm, when the first reports of a possible shooting at the Oxford Institute began to emerge, the teenager’s mother sent a chilling SMS to her son: “Ethan, don’t do it.” At 1:37 a.m., Ethan’s father called 911 to let it be known that the gun he gave his son was not at home. With that weapon, the 15-year-old fired more than 30 bullets, killing Tate Myre, 16; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Justin Shilling, 17; and Hana St. Juliana, 14. Seven other people were injured before he was rounded up and taken into custody.

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