The parents of a teenager who killed four students at a North American school were arrested on Saturday on charges of murder for allowing their son to use a gift gun.
James and Jennifer Crumble have been wanted by the police and the FBI since Friday. In an industrial building in Detroit, about sixty kilometers from where the shooting took place, their car was not far from where it had been seen before.
Contrary to reports that Ethan Crumble’s parents were not trying to escape, the couple’s lawyers promised Friday.
“The Crambles have been out for their safety since the night of this tragic shooting,” they told AFP on Friday evening.
“They are returning to the region to appear before a judge. No matter what the media reports, they do not run away from the authorities,” he said.
However, police officials told CNN that they recovered $ 4,000 when they left and turned off their phones, saying they were trying to escape from officers.
District Attorney Karen McDonald said each of them has been charged with four counts of manslaughter for allowing their son to use a firearm they purchased.
“These allegations are news, so people understand that they are responsible at the moment they have a gun,” he added, condemning the “insufficient” Michigan law that does not require the weapon to be locked.
Ethan Crumble, 15, killed four students Tuesday and wounded six students and a teacher at a high school grounds in Oxford, a small town north of Detroit.
He “pulled the trigger to get into college,” but “others contributed to the event, and I want to take them into account,” said Karen McDonald, who announced the lawsuits against the parents.
Ethan Crumble has been charged with “terrorist act” and “murder” and faces life imprisonment as an adult. He did not plead guilty, but he decided to remain silent. He is being held in solitary confinement in the Pontiac District Jail.
Shooting is a cruelty in the United States, where the right to own a gun is constitutionally guaranteed. But cases against relatives of their perpetrators are very rare.
Earlier in the day, on the day of the big black silver advertisements, James Crumble bought a Chic Souver semi-automatic rifle as an early Christmas present for his son.
After the purchase, the teen posted pictures of the weapon on social media, calling it “beauty.”
The day before the shooting, police said he recorded a video on his cellphone and announced he was using his gun at school and had not posted it on the Internet.
The next morning, Ethan Crumble was summoned by his parents’ management of the establishment for drawing with smiling emoticons and deadly provocative messages about the weapon and the bloody body: “Help, my life is useless, world. Dead, blood everywhere,” the lawyer said.
“It is incomprehensible to think that a parent can read these words knowing that their son is approaching a deadly weapon he gave them, and I think it is a crime,” he said.
She also criticizes that at the time, he did not ask his parents where his weapon was in his bag.
Two hours after the meeting was over, he came out of the bathroom, with a handgun, advancing systematically through the school halls, firing at the students and heading towards the doors of the classrooms where they had barricaded themselves. He fired at least 30 bullets.
According to police, he randomly targeted previously identified victims without selecting them.
In the news of the high school shooting, Jennifer Crumble wrote to her son, “Ethan, don’t do that.” His father complained to the police that the pistol was missing from the drawer that had been stored at the time.
The tragedy has created a state of mental illness in Michigan where authorities have been “overwhelmed” by reports of threats against schools.