Mich. Prosecutor: School Had Legal Ground to Search Teen Shooter’s Backpack, Locker But Didn’t

Mich. Prosecutor: School Had Legal Ground to Search Teen Shooter's Backpack, Locker But Didn't police car sits outside oxford high school Police keep watch outside of Oxford High School on Dec. 1, 2021, in Oxford, Michigan. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By Fran Beyer | Monday, 06 December 2021 01:21 PM

School officials in Michigan had legal grounds to search the backpack and locker of 15-year-old mass shooter Ethan Crumbley but never did, a local prosecutor told CNN.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald didn’t explain Monday why the search was never done, telling the news outlet: "We don't know exactly if that weapon was in his bag, where it was, we just know it was in the school and he had access to it."

And she didn’t rule out prosecution of school staff members.

"We haven't ruled out charging anyone," McDonald told CNN.

The slaughter that killed four students and wounded others could have been prevented, and the teen’s parents are being criminally prosecuted because "we have to start addressing how somebody like [Ethan Crumbley] can so easily get their hands on a weapon and we have to hold the people responsible who allowed that to happen," McDonald told CNN.

The parents reportedly bought the gun as a Christmas gift for their son on Black Friday, and stored it improperly.

"All of this could have been prevented if he hadn't had access [to a gun] or if just one of those parents had said, 'I'm concerned about what I'm seeing right now and I also want you to know we just bought him a gun for Christmas,' and that didn't happen," McDonald told CNN.

McDonald also said there was evidence beyond what has already been revealed that she will use in prosecuting Crumbley and his parents.

"I'm sympathetic to parents, my husband and I have raised five children," McDonald told the news outlet.

"I'm certainly not suggesting that parents should be criminally prosecuted for any bad act of a child," she added. "But in this case, you can't possibly look at their actions and say that they didn't have reason to believe that there was real concern about a violent act."

The teen has been charged with fatally shooting four classmates and wounding several others at Oxford High School on Nov. 30. Parents James and Jennifer Crumbley were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. All have pleaded not guilty.

The parents and son were being housed at the same facility and monitored under suicide watch, CNN reported.