Neglected Pleas for Help: Michigan Teen’s Journal Reveals Disturbing School Shooting Plan

PONTIAC, Mich. – In a shocking revelation during the trial of Jennifer Crumbley, evidence was presented that her teenage son had detailed a plan to carry out a shooting at his Michigan school in a personal journal. The journal entries depicted a troubled young man whose pleas for help went unheard by his parents. The grim account was read by an investigator just moments before the jury watched a partial video of the shooting that resulted in the tragic deaths of four students at Oxford High School in 2021.

As the audio was turned off, Jennifer Crumbley, facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, chose not to look at the screen. Instead, she wept, her forehead resting on her hands. The victims’ grieving relatives also shed tears in the courtroom. Jennifer, along with her husband James, is accused of enabling their son’s access to a firearm and neglecting his mental health needs.

The journal, penned by Ethan Crumbley at the age of 15, revealed his desperate cry for help: “I have zero help for my mental problems and it’s causing me to shoot up the … school.” He further expressed frustration with his parents, stating that they refused to listen to him or provide him with a therapist. In the journal entries, he ominously predicted a life in prison and forecasted that “many people have about a day left to live.”

This case stands out as the first instance in the United States where parents have been charged in connection with a mass school shooting perpetrated by their own child. James Crumbley, 47, is set to face trial in March for his alleged role in the tragedy. Meanwhile, Ethan, now 17, has already pleaded guilty and is currently serving a life sentence in prison.

Of particular significance in the trial is a meeting that took place between school staff and the Crumbleys a few hours before the shooting unfolded. During this encounter, the parents were confronted with a disturbing drawing their son had doodled on an assignment. In the drawing, a gun and bullet were depicted alongside the chilling lines, “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me. The world is dead. My life is useless.” Despite the school’s recommendation that Ethan receive immediate help, his parents declined to take him home, citing the need to return to work. Tragically, he remained at school and later retrieved a handgun from his backpack to unleash a hail of bullets upon unsuspecting students.

The details of this trial continue to expose the heartbreaking consequences of unaddressed mental health needs and the responsibilities parents hold in ensuring the safety and well-being of their children. The courtroom proceedings serve as a stark reminder of the devastating impact that can result from failing to heed warning signs and provide the necessary support to individuals in crisis.

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