State Watch

Parents of Oxford shooting suspect may face charges, says prosecutor

Paul Sancya/ AP
Students hug at outside Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. Authorities say a 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at Oxford High School, killing four students and wounding seven other people on Tuesday.

Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald on Wednesday said she is considering bringing charges against the parents of Ethan Crumbley, the suspect in the Oxford High School shooting.

Officials announced that Crumbley will face numerous charges, including one count of terrorism causing death, four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of assault with intent to murder.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard confirmed that the gun Crumbley is believed to have used to carry out the Tuesday attack was bought by his father on Black Friday.

“We know that owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate and not allowing access to other individuals, particularly minors,” McDonald said, according to the Detroit Free Press. “We have to hold individuals accountable who don’t do that.”

Bouchard said that potential criminal charges against Crumbley’s parents are still being determined.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) explained to the Free Press that Michigan state laws provide a degree of accountability for adults who own guns that were used by a minor to commit a crime.

“Theoretically, if you had a case where you had a teenager who had demonstrated some sort of instability, mentally or suicidal or homicidal thoughts or actions, or anything to that extent, and in addition to that you still allowed this child to have unfettered access to a weapon, then theoretically I don’t think it would be a huge stretch to charge the parents with involuntary manslaughter under those circumstances,” said Nessel.

According to the Free Press, Nessel stressed that this hypothetical situation does not specifically apply to the Oxford school shooting, but could represent a possible charge.

The Washington Post noted that Michigan state law does not require gun owners to lock up their weapons or keep them away from children. Such measures are rarely enforced in states that have child access laws.

Tags Dana Nessel involuntary manslaughter Michigan Oakland County, Michigan Oxford High School Shooting

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