Michigan Shooting: Reconstruction of a school massacre with many warnings ignored | International

Armed massacres in US schools often result in the person shooting being detained, shot down by security forces, or committing suicide with the murder weapon itself. There was already a case, as in the tragedy lived nine years ago in Newtown (Connecticut), in which the sniper even murdered his mother at home and then started a bloody climb that left 26 dead, including 20 children. What doesn’t usually happen is that the executioner’s parents end up being arrested and charged with wrongful death.

James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, were arrested late last Saturday in a Detroit shed where they hid after the court declared them fugitives. FBI agents, law enforcement officials and a specialized team from Oakland participated in the couple’s search and capture operation. For county prosecutor Karen McDonald, the details of what happened before, during and after the massacre are disturbing enough to justify bringing charges against the Crumbleys. Both Ethan and his parents are in Oakland Prison, isolated from the general prison population and under anti-suicide surveillance protocol.

To reconstruct what happened chronologically, in order to ascertain responsibility for the Oxford massacre, it is necessary to go back to the day after Thanksgiving. On Friday, November 26, 45-year-old Ethan’s father bought his son a nine-millimeter SigSauer semi-automatic pistol as an early Christmas gift. The young man was quick to brag about his new possession on social media: “My new beauty”, he wrote.

Flowers, candles and personalized messages left by family and friends of victims at the entrance to Oxford High School, Michigan (USA).

The next day, Saturday, November 27, a day of rest and which traditionally takes place with the family in what is one of the most important festivities in the US, the mother of 43-year-old Ethan published a post on the networks where she appeared testing the gun along with your child. So far, it might seem like a normal day in a nation whose inhabitants have had a strong and close relationship with firearms since childhood. When the weekend came to an end, Ethan’s gun was stored in his parents’ bedroom, in a place to which the young man had free access.

On Monday, the 29th, Michigan resumed school after the long weekend. That morning, a teacher informed Jennifer Crumbley that her son was searching the internet for firearm ammunition. This is where the first alarm crashes. The teenager’s mother didn’t find anything out of the ordinary and even sent her son a text message saying: “LOL [gargalhadas]. I’m not mad at you.” Mrs Crumbley’s recommendation explains why she ignored the first alarm: “What you have to do is learn not to get caught,” she recommended.

It arrived on Tuesday 30th, the day of the murders. In the morning, one of Ethan Crumbley’s teachers found a note in which the teenager had scribbled a pistol, a gunshot person, a smiling emoticon, and three premonitory phrases: “Blood everywhere”; “The thoughts won’t stop”; “Help”. The school’s board contacted Ethan’s parents, called to a meeting that same morning and advised to seek professional help for their son, according to prosecutor McDonald.

But not only did the Crumbleys not want Ethan removed from the classroom that day, they also asked him if he had the gun or checked his backpack. Nor did the college take this step. Alarms ignored. “The mere idea that a father can read these words and, furthermore, be aware that his son has access to a deadly weapon, which they themselves gave him, is inconceivable, and I consider it to be something criminal,” says the prosecutor who requested the arrest of the Crumbley couple.

Incredibly, Ethan returned to the classroom. From that moment on, the worst nightmare for any parent who leaves their child in a school in the morning was unleashed. This was the 222nd firearms incident at a college in 2021, the year with the most cases of this type, 100 more than in 2019, making it also the deadliest.

According to the report of the authorities, at 12:50 pm Ethan entered the bathroom with his backpack and came out carrying his Christmas present, with which he started shooting. At 1:22 pm, when news of a possible armed massacre at Oxford high school began to be reported, the teenager’s mother sent a horrifying SMS to her son: “Ethan, don’t do this”. At 1:37 pm, Ethan’s father called emergency services to let them know that the weapon his son had been given was not at home. With that weapon, the 15-year-old fired more than 30 bullets, killing 16-year-old Tate Myre; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Justin Shilling, 17, and Hana St. Juliana, 14. Seven more people were injured before Ethan was overpowered and arrested.

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About Abhishek Pratap

Food maven. Unapologetic travel fanatic. MCU's fan. Infuriatingly humble creator. Award-winning pop culture ninja.

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