A teenager pleaded guilty Monday to charges related to a school shooting in Michigan last year that killed four students.
Ethan Crumbley, 16, pleaded guilty to all 24 charges including terrorism and first-degree murder. His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are also in jail on manslaughter charges for their accused role in the shooting.
Relatives of some of the victims who were present in the courtroom cried as the associate prosecutor described the crimes, reported the Associated Press.
Crumbley’s parents are accused of making the gun used in the shooting accessible to him while simultaneously ignoring concerns of mental health problems in their son.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald took the highly unusual step of charging James and Jennifer Crumbley with four manslaughter charges, reported Fox 2 Detroit.
Apparent warning signs were seen prior to the shooting, with one teacher discovering a drawing of a gun with the words: “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.” There was also an image of a bullet with the message: “Blood everywhere.”
The couple was allegedly informed about the drawings but declined to take Ethan home. They were told to get him into counseling within 48 hours, according to investigators.
The day before the shooting, a teacher discovered Crumbley looking up ammunition on his phone.
The school contacted his mother, who the prosecutor’s office alleges texted her son: “Lol. I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.”
Jennifer Crumbley described the weapon used in the shooting in an Instagram post as a “Christmas present” to her son.
The lawyer for Ethan Crumbley speculated that he may be called to testify against his parents.
Ethan Crumbley, who at the time of the shooting was 15, said under questioning on Monday that the gun was bought with his money and that his father purchased the weapon on November 26. The gun, he said, wasn’t locked away or in a safe the night before the shooting took place.
The weapon was a 9mm Sig Sauer handgun. Ethan took the gun in a backpack, along with 50 rounds of ammunition, to school on the day of the shooting. Afterward, he went into a bathroom and started shooting after pulling out the gun. Eventually, he surrendered to police.