The mother of suspected Michigan high school shooter Ethan Crumbley sent a text to her son the day of the shooting urging him to not "do it," but lawyers for the parents say the text was to urge Crumbley to not commit suicide.
"The Crumbleys, like every parent and community member, are devastated by the school shooting," defense attorney Shannon Smith and co-counsel Mariell Lehman said in a court filing. "The last thing they expected was that a school shooting would take place, or that their son would be responsible."
Jennifer Crumbley sent a text to her son the day of the shooting reading, "don’t do it," Smith acknowledged. But the lawyer said it was a plea for Crumbley to not commit suicide following the shooting that already occurred, Fox 2 Detroit reported.
Oakland County, Michigan, prosecutor Karen McDonald has also cited the text in a hearing on the case.
"After the active shooting announcement went out, Mrs. Crumbley texted her son, Ethan, 'Don't do it.' And Mr. Crumbley went to his home purposely to search for this weapon because he was afraid his son had the weapon and was in fact shooting people and hurting them, which, as we know, is exactly what happened," McDonald said.
The shooting occurred at Oxford High School on Nov. 30 and left four students dead and seven other people injured, including one teacher. Crumbley used a 9mm Sig Sauer, according to police, which the boy’s father bought on Black Friday, just four days before the shooting.
Crumbley was charged with one count of terrorism causing death, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.
It was revealed earlier this month that school officials met with Crumbley and his parents to discuss the violent drawings just hours before the deadly rampage. The 15-year-old suspect was able to convince them during the meeting that the concerning drawings were for a "video game." His parents "flatly refused" to take their son home, according to the school.
"On the morning of Nov. 30, a teacher observed concerning drawings and written statements that have been detailed in media reports, which the teacher reported to school counselors and the Dean of students. The student was immediately removed from the classroom and brought to the guidance counselor’s office where he claimed the drawing was part of a video game he was designing and informed counselors that he planned to pursue video game design as a career," Oxford Community Schools superintendent Tim Thorne wrote in a letter sent to the Oxford High School community.
His parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter in the case. They are being held on $500,000 bond each, or a total of $1 million. Their lawyers requested their bond be lowered to $100,000 Wednesday.
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