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Graphic Design: The Chilling Art of a School Shooter

© REUTERS / OAKLAND COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICEEthan Robert Crumbley, 15, charged with first-degree murder in a high school shooting, poses in a jail booking photograph taken at the Oakland County Jail in Pontiac, Michigan, U.S. December 1, 2021, in a combination photograph with his parents Jennifer Lynn Crumbley and James Robert Crumbley who were taken into custody December 3, 2021. Oakland County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS
Ethan Robert Crumbley, 15, charged with first-degree murder in a high school shooting, poses in a jail booking photograph taken at the Oakland County Jail in Pontiac, Michigan, U.S. December 1, 2021, in a combination photograph with his parents Jennifer Lynn Crumbley and James Robert Crumbley who were taken into custody December 3, 2021.  Oakland County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS  - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.12.2021
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Hours before Ethan Crumbley opened fire on his classmates and teachers at Oxford High School in Oakland County, Michigan, he was sent to the school’s guidance counselor over a graphic image that depicted a shooting.
According to prosecutors, one of Crumbley’s teachers noticed a graphic picture that depicted a gun, a bullet, a shooting victim, and a laughing emoji, with the words “thoughts won’t stop, help me”, “the world is dead” and “my life is useless” written on it.
Crumbley was sent to the school guidance office where he was probed over his picture. He allegedly told the counselor that the picture was for a video game he was designing, which he viewed as a future career. The counselor’s office was satisfied with his response and deemed that he wasn’t a threat to harm himself or others.
However, they wanted his parents to take him home for the day. According to records, Ethan Crumbley’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were difficult to contact and then uncooperative with the school’s wishes.
When his parents arrived they were told they had 48 hours to find their son counseling or the school would call child protective services. The Crumbleys were made aware of their son’s graphic image but did not reveal that they had recently bought him a gun.
Ethan Crumbley’s parents refused to take him home and left the school without him, with the school counselors then deciding that it was better to keep him at school than to send him to an empty home.
Hours later, as in the image he drew, Ethan allegedly emerged from a bathroom and opened fire. Four students; Tate Myre, Hana St. Juliana, Madisyn Baldwin, and Justin Shilling, were killed. Six other students and one teacher were wounded.
Ethan Crumbley was apprehended at the scene and charged with 24 criminal counts, including four counts of first-degree murder and terrorism. His parents were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter in the days that followed the shooting.
James and Jennifer Crumbley failed to show for their arraignment, turned off their phones, and withdrew $4,000 in cash, briefly going on the run. The pair were ultimately arrested hiding in a commercial space linked to an artist named Andrzej Sikora.
Sikora, 65, a Polish immigrant, has not been charged with any crime and is cooperating with authorities. However, investigators believe the Crumbleys were assisted in getting into the commercial space. Sikora’s name and number were also listed outside the basement room where the Crumbleys were finally apprehended.
The parents of the school shooter could face additional charges and police are investigating who helped them get into the building. Sikora will be interviewed on Monday by police to determine if he had any connection to their attempt to evade authorities.
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