PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A prosecutor in Michigan will announce a charging decision Friday involving the parents of a boy who is accused of killing four students at Oxford High School, after saying earlier that their actions went “far beyond negligence,” her office said.
“The parents were the only individuals in the position to know the access to weapons,” Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said Thursday. The gun “seems to have been just freely available to that individual.”
Ethan Crumbley, 15, has been charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder, and terrorism, for the shooting Tuesday at Oxford High School in Oakland County, roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit.
Jennifer and James Crumbley did not return a message left by The Associated Press.
Four students were killed and seven more people were injured. Three were in hospitals in stable condition.
The semi-automatic gun was purchased legally by Crumbley’s father last week, according to investigators.
Parents in the U.S. are rarely charged with school shootings involving their children, even as most minors get guns from a parent or relative’s house, according to experts.
There’s no Michigan law that requires gun owners to keep weapons locked away from children. McDonald, however, suggested there’s more to build a case on.
“All I can say at this point is those actions on mom and dad’s behalf go far beyond negligence,” she told WJR-AM. “We obviously are prosecuting the shooter to the fullest extent. … There are other individuals who should be held accountable.”
Later at a news conference, McDonald said she hoped to have an announcement “in the next 24 hours.” She had firmly signaled that Crumbley’s parents were under scrutiny when she filed charges against their son Wednesday.
Sheriff Mike Bouchard disclosed Wednesday that the parents met with school officials about their son’s classroom behavior, just a few hours before the shooting.
McDonald said information about what had troubled the school “will most likely come to light soon.”
Crumbley stayed in school Tuesday and later emerged from a bathroom with a gun, firing at students in the hallway, police said.