Trigger fingers: 1 person kills, but many may be responsible

Though the parents were alerted of their son's threats to cause harm, neither accepted responsibility to see he received immediate help

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Editorials

December 7, 2021 - 9:36 AM

A home in Oxford, Mich., displays a sign of prayer on Dec. 1, 2021, following a shooting at Oxford High School that left four students dead and multiple others with injuries. (Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press/TNS)

Michigan prosecutors think they have a strong involuntary manslaughter case against the now-apprehended parents of the 15-year-old boy who fatally shot four of his high school classmates last Tuesday. We concur.

Though it is the teen who squeezed the trigger, it was his dad who just days earlier bought him as a gift what would become the murder weapon, even though Michigan’s legal age of handgun ownership is 18. And just hours before the high school turned into a live-fire zone, both mother and father were called to the school to meet with administrators and shown a drawing the boy had made with a person bleeding and the words “help me.”

At the meeting, says prosecutor Karen McDonald, the two “were advised that they were required to get their son into counseling within 48 hours.” Yet, she says, never did they mention that their son might have a weapon on his person, even as they resisted a request to take him home for the day.

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