CHICAGO, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The parents of a 15-year-old suspect accused of killing four and injuring seven others at Oxford High School in the U.S. state of Michigan were arrested early Saturday morning on the east side of Detroit, local media reported on Saturday.
Detroit Police Chief James White said at a press briefing early Saturday morning that a tip led police to a commercial building, where police set up surveillance and take James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley, into custody without incident.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced at a press conference on Friday to charge the couple with four counts of involuntary manslaughter each. If convicted, they could face up to 15 years in prison.
The couple did not surrender to the authorities after the charge announcement early Friday afternoon. As a result, the U.S. Marshal's Service and the Oakland County Fugitive Apprehension Team, along with the Detroit Police Department and other agencies, launched a search for the couple. U.S. Marshals even announced a reward of up to 10,000 U.S. dollars for information leading to their arrests by late Friday night.
McDonald said the charge against the parents sends a message that "gun owners have a responsibility ... When they fail to uphold that responsibility, there are serious and criminal consequences."
Investigation found that the gun Ethan Crumbley used to kill was purchased by his father and was stored in an unlocked drawer in the parents' bedroom. When the father bought the gun on Nov. 26, his son was with him.
Michigan prosecutors made the decision of filing charges against the teen's parents based on more facts.
Social media posted by the teen suspect on that day show the handgun along with a caption: "Just got my new beauty today." The next day, one of Jennifer Crumbley's social media posts read: "Mom and son day testing out his new Christmas present," McDonald said.
A teacher at the high school observed the teen searching ammunition on his cellphone during class the day before the shooting. The school officials contacted the mother through voicemail and email but received no response from either parent. Instead, the mother exchanged text messages with her son about the incident that day, writing: "LOL, I'm not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught," said McDonald.
On the day of the shooting, the teen's teacher saw an alarming note on the teen's desk and took a photo of it. The parents were summoned to school, but failed to ask their son whether he had his gun with him and resisted the idea of their son leaving school at the time.
Video from the school surveillance cameras shows the teen exiting the bathroom with a gun in hand around 12:51 p.m. on Tuesday. He "methodically and deliberately" walked out of the hallways aiming the firearm at students and firing.
The teen has been charged as an adult of first-degree murder, terrorism, assault with the intent to murder and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony on Wednesday, which carry a maximum sentence of life in jail without parole. Enditem