The parents of the teenager who allegedly shot and killed four students at a U.S. high school have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the deaths.
Karen McDonald, the chief prosecutor in Oakland County, Michigan, charged Jennifer and James Crumbley on Friday with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, declaring their actions prior to the killings went “far beyond negligence.”
The Crumbleys were charged three days after their 15-year-old son, Ethan, allegedly opened fire at Oxford High School in the Midwestern town of Oxford, Michigan, killing four students and wounding seven other people.
Experts say parents in the U.S. are seldom charged in school shootings involving their children. If convicted, the Crumbleys could face up to 15 years in prison.
Ethan Crumbley has been charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder and terrorism, for allegedly killing the students with a semi-automatic gun that investigators said was legally bought by his father last week.
Michigan law does not require gun owners to keep weapons locked away from children, but McDonald said that is no excuse.
“All I can say at this point is those actions on mom and dad’s behalf go far beyond negligence,” she in an interview with WJR-AM radio in Detroit, Michigan.
Tuesday’s attack was the deadliest shooting in a U.S. school this year, according to Education Week. It was also the latest in a long series of mass shootings at U.S. schools that spans decades.
Information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.