Authorities identified the shooter as 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, who’s been charged with four counts of first-degree murder, as well as a terrorism-related charge.
Four people — Tate Myre, 16, Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17 — died, and several other students and a teacher were injured in the shooting on November 30, 2021.
James Crumbley had purchased the pistol for his son on Black Friday as an early Christmas gift. Four days later, his son carried out the attack, according to prosecutors. The two parents are facing involuntary manslaughter charges.
Two days after the shooting, the two parents fled, prosecutors said in court on Friday, according to a report from the Detroit Free Press.
They bought four burner phones and withdrew all the money from their son’s bank account, the outlet reported. Then they checked into a hotel for a night before moving into an abandoned building in Detroit. While there, they asked a friend to bring them orange juice and vodka, the Detroit Free Press reported, citing county prosecutors. Police eventually found them on a mattress in the building.
The family’s attorney argued in court that they fled their home because of death threats, saying they had every intention of turning themselves in. But prosecutors disagreed, saying the parents gave no indication of doing so.
“There was a police station across the street from their hotel,” Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said, according to the Detroit Free Press. “They didn’t turn themselves in. They fled to another town, and nothing prevented them from staying in Oakland County.”
Prosecutors say there is ample evidence against the 15-year-old boy, including drawings made hours before the attack featuring guns and bullets.
“There is a mountain of digital evidence,” Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said at a press conference, noting that several social media accounts connected to the alleged shooter have been taken down. “We are confident it was premeditated.”
Prosecutors have also accused the parents of ignoring critical signs that Crumbley exhibited prior to the shooting. They say the parents didn’t take it seriously when Crumbley told his mother he sees demons, made Molotov cocktails at home, and joked with a friend about shooting up a school.