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Michigan school shooting suspect's parents under suicide watch

1 month 2 weeks 10 hours ago Monday, December 06 2021 Dec 6, 2021 December 06, 2021 8:18 AM December 06, 2021 in News
Source: CNN
James Crumbley, Ethan Crumbley, and Jennifer Crumbley

OAKLAND COUNTY, Michigan - After a 15-year-old allegedly opened fire at his Michigan high school, killing four of his classmates and wounding seven others, authorities searched for and arrested the teen's parents.

All three suspects are now reportedly housed in the same facility, and under suicide watch.

According to CNN, Ethan Crumbley and his parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are being held at the Oakland County Jail facility in Pontiac, Michigan.

CNN quotes Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard as saying that staff continue to check on the three multiple times an hour.

The family members have been separated and are not allowed to communicate with each other at this time, according to Bouchard.

The Sheriff added that the teen may not even realize his parents have been arrested and jailed. 

"He wouldn't have been made aware that we were searching for his parents since he's in isolation, and it's not like we have a TV clicker in his hands," Bouchard said.

Though the three are reportedly on suicide watch, Bouchard said, "nothing to lead us to believe that anybody has any mental health challenges so far based on records or information we've uncovered." 

The suspected teen gunman's parents were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, to which they pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors allege the couple granted their young son unrestricted access to the gun he was accused of using in the school shooting.

On Wednesday, Crumbley was charged as an adult with terrorism, first degree murder and other counts, to which he pleaded not guilty.

The school shooting he's been tied to resulted in the deaths of Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17. 

According to CNN, Oxford Community Schools in Michigan has requested an independent third-party investigation of Tuesday's shooting at Oxford High School, Superintendent Tim Throne said in a letter addressed to the Oxford school community Saturday.

In the letter, Throne supplied details on the shooting based on "the school's version of events."

On Monday, Crumbley was allegedly seen looking up pictures of ammunition on his cell phone during class and when asked why he was doing this, he said it was for his family's shooting hobby.

A day later, on Tuesday morning, a teacher alerted school counselors and the Dean of students that Crumbley created concerning drawings and written statements.

The school officials "immediately removed (him) from the classroom" and had him go to a guidance counselor's office.

The teen told a school counselor the drawing in question was for a video game he was designing and then guidance counselors kept him in their office as they unsuccessfully tried to reach his parents for an hour and a half, the letter said.

Once Crumbley's parents were contacted and arrived, they were questioned about the student's capacity for harm, and the family's answers "led counselors to again conclude he did not intend on committing either self-harm or harm to others," the letter said.

School counselors told the parents they had 48 hours to seek counseling for their son, otherwise the school would have to contact Child Protective Services.

However, when asked to take their child home for the rest of the day, Throne said the student's parents "flatly refused," leaving their son behind to "return to work."

After considering Crumbley's lack of any prior disciplinary actions, school counselors decided to allow him to return to his class and later that morning, the teen allegedly began firing his gun "during passing time between classes when hundreds of students were in the hallway transitioning from one classroom to the other."

Superintendent Throne said it is unclear if the gun was in Crumbley's backpack during his meeting with the counselors.

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