During the trial of the Oxford High School shooter’s motherJennifer Crumbley, the court was shown footage of the first interview between police and the killer’s parents – in which they admitted that they regretted not taking their son out of school that day.
Hours before the mass shooting unfolded, the Crumbley parents were called in for a meeting with school administrators.
School staff had grown increasingly concerned after finding Ethan’s drawing, depicting a semiautomatic handgun pointing at the words “the thoughts won’t stop help me” and asked the parents to meet with them and their son to discuss it.
The parents refused to take Ethan out of school and he returned to the classroom. He opened fire hours later.
In police footage from later that day, investigators were seen bringing up the meeting with school staff.
Later in the interview, Ms Crumbley said the school counselor “didn’t seem worried” about the drawing and said that Ethan could either stay at school or his parents could take him home.
“And I really wish we took him home,” she can be heard saying.
At the start of the interview, the shooter’s father James Crumbley said he was “freaking out” and asked for water.
He also told police that Ethan was a “great kid,” adding that he “doesn’t get in trouble at school”.
When an officer told the parents that they would need to talk to Ethan, an emotional Ms Crumbley was heard asking: “Why?... He’s never done anything bad.”
Investigators asked the Crumbleys what happened earlier that morning.
Mr Crumbley said their son was “doodling on a test or a practice test,” seemingly referring to the disturbing drawings found by a teacher, when Ms Crumbley interrupted: “I think we probably should have a lawyer.”
Mr Crumbley then said: “I think we can speak to the cops.”
The interview also revealed that Ethan had texted his mother minutes before he opened fire on his classmates.
In the message, sent at 12.21pm, he told her that he loved her.
Mr Crumbley also shared details with police about where his son had gotten hold of the gun.
He said that the weapon was hidden in a gun case in an armoire and that the bullets were “in a completely different spot underneath some jeans”.
The trials of his parents are unprecedented; never before have parents of a mass school shooter been charged or tried for their alleged roles in the massacre.
The parents asked to be tried separately. Ms Crumbley’s trial began last week while Mr Crumbley’s trial is set to begin in March.