Ethan Crumbley’s Parents James and Jennifer Crumbley Charged in Wake of Oxford High School Shooting

Four days before 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley was accused of shooting at his Michigan high school, his parents bought him an unusually early Christmas present: a 9mm Sig Sauer pistol.

The boy went with his father, James Crumbley, to buy guns at Acme Shooting Goods in the small town of Oxford. Ethan called that night on Instagram his “new beauty”.

The next day, his mother, Jennifer Crumbley, who once posted a open letter thanked President-elect Donald Trump for defending “my right to bear arms,” her own Instagram post read. “Day for mother and son to try his new Christmas present,” she wrote, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said Friday.

On Monday, however, Ethan’s new gift, stored in an unsafe drawer in his parents’ bedroom, caused concern at Oxford High School.

A teacher discovered Ethan was looking for ammo on his cell phone during class and reported this to his superiors. Administrators left a voicemail for Jennifer Crumbley and followed up with an email, but received no response.

“Lol, I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught,” Jennifer texted her son.

Such “severe” behavior warrants a charge James and Jennifer Crumbley With four counts of involuntary manslaughter, McDonald’s announced Friday in a move particularly rare in the US legal system that rarely holds parents of school shooters accountable. about their child’s actions.

In part, the charges were made to “send a message that gun owners are responsible,” she said. “Four children were murdered and seven others were injured. So yeah, I think we should all be very angry and we should take a hard look at what’s going on in terms of criminal liability and what gun owners have to do. ”

On Tuesday morning, a teacher was “alarmed” that Ethan had drawn a shotgun with the words: “Thoughts won’t stop. Help me with “and a bullet point that says, ‘Blood is everywhere. “There are also some smiley emojis and the words, ‘My life is useless,’ and ‘The world is dead,'” McDonald said.

The drawing prompted staff to kick Crumbley out of the classroom, and the boy’s parents were called into the school. James and Jennifer were shown the drawing and told they had to “get their son in for a consultation within 48 hours.”

McDonald said: ‘Neither James nor Jennifer Crumbley was able to ask if their son had a gun or where it was located and were unable to check his backpack.

They were against sending Ethan home and leaving school right after, she said. Ethan returned to class with a pistol in his backpack.

Right after lunch that day, the second year student went to the bathroom with his backpack then went out into the hallway and started shooting students Randomly, the frightened teenagers had to take cover and hide, police said. Tate Myre 16 years old, Hana St. 14-year-old Juliana, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin and 17-year-old Justin Shilling have died. Seven other people, including a teacher, were injured.

When news broke of an active shooter at the school, James Crumbley “went straight to his house to look for his gun,” McDonald said. Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, “Ethan, don’t do that.”

James then called 911 to report that his gun was missing and that “his son may have been the shooter,” McDonald said.

Acme Shooting Goods declined The Daily Beast’s request for comment on Friday. Multiple attempts to contact the Crumbleys were unsuccessful.

McDonald’s said “involuntary manslaughter is the “strongest possible charge that we can demonstrate and may have cause to charge”.

Ethan has been charged as an adult with one count of terrorism, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to kill and 12 counts of possession of a firearm.

At Crumbley’s arrangement on Wednesday, Oakland County Sheriff Lieutenant Tim Willis said police seized “two separate videos recovered from Ethan’s cell phone that he filmed the night before. when the incident happened, in which he talked about shooting and killing students the next day at Oxford High School.”

Willis also told the judge that investigators discovered a diary in Ethan’s backpack that “detailed his desire to bombard the school, including killing students.” . Social media accounts show Ethan practicing with a Sig Sauer pistol identical to the one used in the shooting, Willis told District Court Judge Nancy Carniak.

An Oxford high school mother, who didn’t want to identify herself for fear of reprisal, told The Daily Beast that the Crumbleys “didn’t really bond with other parents in high school”.

“When we found out Ethan was the shooter, some of us got together and couldn’t even remember too much about his parents. This is weird because it’s such a secluded place — and they just don’t participate,” the parent added.

The day after James Crumbley purchased a weapon, a Florida woman filed a lawsuit against him over unpaid child support payments by thousands, according to court records reviewed by The Daily Beast. Money seemed to be an issue in the Crumbley family for several years. Shortly after the 2016 election, Jennifer Crumbley posted a letter to Donald Trump in which she claimed she skipped car insurance payments to hire a tutor for Ethan, blaming the program. “common core” teaching is required in schools. She boiled over in the letter about schools where “children come from illegal immigrant parents” and “have no interest in learning.”

Jennifer Crumbley wrote: “As a woman and a Realtor, thank you for allowing me the right to bear arms. “Allow me to be protected if I point the house to someone with bad intentions. Thank you for respecting that Amendment. ”

James Crumbley posted a link on Facebook about his wife’s greed, commenting: “My wife can find out. Sometimes.”


It is highly unusual to charge the parents of a school shooter. One case involved the mother of an Indiana teen in 2018 who opened fire at her middle school, killing no one, but shooting herself after being cornered by police. His mother pleaded guilty last year to child neglect and was sentenced to 2.5 years probation. In Texas, the parents of a 17-year-old student, who killed eight classmates and two substitute teachers in 2018 with a handgun and pistol believed to have belonged to his father, continue the battle. the case of the victim’s relatives who accused the parents of being aware of their son’s “dangerous tendencies” but still allowing him to have access to a gun.

There is no law in Michigan that requires gun owners to lock their weapons and keep them away from children.

“From the very beginning we have to prevent children from getting their hands on guns, and that starts with the safe storage of guns. It is every gun owner’s responsibility to store, lock, unload the gun and keep it separate from ammunition,” Shannon Watts, founder of Mother Needs Action, told The Daily Beast.

“We have seen too many times what can happen when they fail to do so and accountability is required — including informing gun owners of their obligations and responsibilities to keep them safe.” keep their guns safe, and pass and enforce laws that hold gun owners accountable when they fail to do so.”

At least 100 schools in Michigan forced to cancel classes on Friday due to a series of copycat threats, and Oxford’s small community was left reeling.

“If you don’t get hit, [it] doesn’t mean you won’t be terrorized that day and will have nightmares about it for the rest of your life, whether you’re a parent, teacher or student,” Bouchard said at a news conference. before the alleged debris.

“Walking past that building in the early hours of this morning, looking at the sprawling classroom and the backpacks strewn across the floor, it must have been an absolutely horrible moment in anyone’s life,” he said. to add. “I don’t care if you’re an adult or a child.”

Ethan Crumbley pleaded not guilty and was transferred from juvenile detention to the Oakland County Jail, where authorities said he was being watched for suicide. He will return to court on December 13. Ethan Crumbley’s Parents James and Jennifer Crumbley Charged in Wake of Oxford High School Shooting


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