The parents of the Oxford High School student charged in connection with this week's deadly shooting have now also been hit with charges.
Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald announced in a news conference Friday that the parents of alleged gunman Ethan Crumbley, 15, are both being charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter following the Tuesday shooting that left four people dead.
"While the shooter was the one who entered the high school and pulled the trigger, there are other individuals who contributed to the events on Nov. 30, and it's my intention to hold them accountable as well," she said.
Officials said James Crumbley, Ethan's father, purchased the gun used in the shooting, which Ethan's mother, Jennifer Crumbley, reportedly described as Ethan's Christmas present.
McDonald said that the morning of the shooting, Ethan Crumbley's teacher found a note on his desk containing disturbing imagery, including drawings of a gun, a bullet, and a person who had been shot, with the words "the thoughts won't stop, help me" and "blood everywhere." According to McDonald, Ethan Crumbley's parents were summoned to school, shown the drawings, and told to get their son into counseling within 48 hours, but they "resisted the idea" of him leaving school. They ultimately left without him as he returned to class and "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," McDonald said.
McDonald said she hopes the charges send a message that "gun owners have a responsibility" and that "when they fail to uphold that responsibility, there are serious and criminal consequences." The step was unusual, as Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence policy director Allison Anderman told The New York Times, "I can't think of a high-profile mass shooting where the parents were prosecuted."