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Michigan school shooting: FBI and detectives search for Ethan Crumbley’s parents after prosecutors charge them with involuntary manslaughter

Michigan school shooting: FBI and detectives search for Ethan Crumbley’s parents after prosecutors charge them with involuntary manslaughter

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The FBI, detectives and US marshals are hunting for the parents of a teenager accused of a school shooting after they were charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Ethan Crumbley, 15, is in custody after the attack on Tuesday at Oxford High School, about 30 miles north of Detroit, in which four people died.

Investigators say the handgun used was purchased legally by his father last week – apparently as a Christmas present – and was “freely available” to the teenager.

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Michigan shooter’s parents ‘beyond negligent’

“The parents were the only individuals in the position to know the access to weapons,” said Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald.

She said their actions went “far beyond negligence” and charged James and Jennifer Crumbley with four counts of involuntary manslaughter each.

Hours after the charges were announced, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said authorities were searching for them after their lawyer said they had stopped answering messages.

“If they think they’re going to get away, they’re not,” Mr Bouchard said.

(L-R) Hana St Juliana, 14, Tate Myre, 16, and Madisyn Baldwin, 17, were killed by Crumbley
Image:
(L-R) Hana St Juliana, 14, Tate Myre, 16, and Madisyn Baldwin, 17, are three of the victims

He said a “fugitive apprehension team”, the FBI and the US Marshals Service were looking for them.

Authorities believe the couple may be driving a black Kia Seltos SUV with the number plate DQG 5203.

A later statement from the couple’s lawyers denied they were on the run and claimed they were returning to the area after leaving “for their own safety” on the night of the shooting.

Ethan is said to have posted images of the gun used in the shooting on social media, writing: “Just got my new beauty today” and adding a heart emoji, prosecutor Ms McDonald said.

His mother posted the next day that they were “testing out his new Christmas present”.

It is rare for people in the US to be charged over shootings by their children, even though most get the weapon from the house of their parents or another relative.

The prosecutor said Crumbley’s parents had met school officials a few hours before the shooting after teachers found a drawing of a gun, a person bleeding and the words “help me.”

Crumbley has been charged as an adult with crimes including murder, attempted murder and terrorism.

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Michigan school students hide during shooting

He is alleged to have emerged from a toilet and opened fire in a hallway. Seven students and a teacher were shot before he surrendered.

Three of the students died on Tuesday, and the fourth died on Wednesday.

They victims were Tate Myre, 16, Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17.

The school was placed on lockdown after the attack, with children sheltering in locked classrooms while officers searched the premises.

When he heard about the shooting, James Crumbley drove home to look for the gun and found it was missing, said prosecutor Ms McDonald at Friday’s news conference.

He then called authorities to say he suspected his son was responsible.

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