UPDATE, Dec. 4: James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of Michigan high school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley, entered “not guilty” pleas to all charges against them during their arraignment Saturday morning.
After being read the charges they face, James and Jennifer Crumbley both responded, "I understand."
The Crumbleys were charged Friday with four counts of involuntary manslaughter over the shooting their 15-year-old son is accused of carrying out on Tuesday, when four students were killed and seven others wounded at the Michigan high school.
Detroit police said the couple "appeared to be hiding" when found in a building early Saturday morning.
UPDATE, Dec. 3: Authorities were searching Friday for Michigan school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley’s parents, who went missing shortly before they were scheduled to be arraigned on involuntary manslaughter charges.
The county prosecutor said his father bought the gun four days before it was used in the shooting. The suspect was with him and later posted on social media about the gun, calling it "my new beauty."
The parents - James and Jennifer Crumbley - were scheduled to surrender at 2 p.m. ET Friday for a 4 p.m. court appearance, but they did not appear.
A sheriff’s fugitive task force was looking for them after fugitive arrest warrants were issued. U.S. Marshals and the FBI were also involved in the search for the Crumbleys.
"If they think they are going to get away, they are not," Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said.
Every available resource is dedicated to locating them, the sheriff said, adding that people should not approach the couple.
But in another twist, two attorneys who say they are representing the couple released a statement that said the Crumbleys had left town for their own safety but would be returning soon to face the charges against them.
The statement from attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman said, "They are not fleeing from law enforcement despite recent comments in media reports."
ORIGINAL REPORT, Dec. 3: PONTIAC, Michigan — A prosecutor filed involuntary manslaughter charges Friday against the parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan High School.
James and Jennifer Crumbley were charged with four counts each of involuntary manslaughter.
Authorities have said Ethan Crumbley opened fire shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday at Oxford High School, roughly 30 miles north of Detroit. Seven students and a teacher were shot before Crumbley surrendered to sheriff’s deputies.
Three of the students died Tuesday. The fourth died Wednesday at a hospital.
The semi-automatic gun used in the shooting was purchased legally by Crumbley’s father last week, according to investigators.
“The parents were the only individuals in the position to know the access to weapons,” Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said. The gun “seems to have been just freely available to that individual.”
She added that the parents’ actions went “far beyond negligence.”
Ethan Crumbley, 15, has been charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder and terrorism.
Parents in the U.S. are rarely charged in school shootings involving their children, even as most minors get guns from a parent or relative’s house, according to experts.
There’s no Michigan law that requires gun owners keep weapons locked away from children. McDonald, however, suggested there's more to build a case on.
“All I can say at this point is those actions on mom and dad’s behalf go far beyond negligence,” she said. “We obviously are prosecuting the shooter to the fullest extent. ... There are other individuals who should be held accountable.”
Jennifer and James Crumbley did not return a message left by The Associated Press.