Both parents of the teen arrested for allegedly killing four and injuring seven Oxford, Michigan students have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
On Friday, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald filed indictments against James and Jennifer Crumbley for allegedly contributing to the Nov. 30 school shooting incident.
“My role as the Oakland County Prosecutor is to seek justice for the victims of this tragedy,” Ms. McDonald said at a Friday press conference. “The family, friends and loved ones of Hana St. Juliana, Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Myre and Justin Shilling — and the other victims — have had their lives shattered.”
The prosecutor said the investigation of the school shooting incident at Oxford High School revealed that the dad, James Crumbley, had purchased a 9mm SIG Sauer Model SP2022 from Acme Shooting Goods in Oxford, Michigan on Nov. 26. She added a store employee confirmed that Ethan Crumbley was present with his father at the time of the purchase and that the father completed ATF form 5309A.
A Nov. 26 social media post from Ethan Crumbley included photos of the semi-automatic handgun, along with the caption, “Just got my new beauty today.” The post included heart emojis and stated the semi-automatic weapon was a 9mm SIG Sauer.
His mother, Jennifer Crumbley, added a subsequent social media post saying, “Mom and son testing out his new Christmas present.”
On Nov. 21, a high school teacher observed Ethan searching ammunition on his cell phone during class and reported it to school officials. After school officials left a voicemail for the student’s mother informing her of Ethan’s inappropriate internet search, they followed up with an email. The prosecutor said school officials received no response from either parent.
Jennifer Crumbley exchanged text messages about the incident with her son on that day indicating she was aware of the school’s concern. “Lol. I’m not mad at you,” she texted, adding, “You have to learn not to get caught.”
On the morning of the shooting, Ethan’s teacher saw a note on his desk that alarmed her so much that she took a picture of it on her cellphone. The photo of the drawing showed a semi-automatic handgun pointing at the words, “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.”
“In another section of the note was a drawing of a bullet with the following words above that bullet, ‘Blood everywhere,'” quoted McDonald.
“Between the drawing of the gun and the bullet is a drawing of a person who appears to have been shot twice and bleeding,” continued McDonald. “Below that figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji. Further down the drawing are the words, ‘My life is useless,’ and to the right of that are the words, ‘The world is dead.’”
McDonald said both parents were summoned to the school and Ethan was immediately removed from his classroom by a teacher who brought him to the office with his backpack. The Crumbleys were shown the drawing, which their son had since altered by crossing out much of the disturbing words. The parents were told they were required to get their son into counseling within 48 hours.
“Both parents failed to ask their son if he had his gun with him, or where his gun was located and failed to inspect his backpack for the presence of the gun,” said the prosecutor, adding James and Jennifer Crumbley left the high school without their son, who returned to his classroom.
As news of an active shooter at the school was broadcast, a text at 1:22 p.m. from Jennifer Crumbley said, “Ethan, don’t do it.”
“At 1:37 p.m., James Crumbley called 911, reporting that a gun was missing from his house and he believed his son may be the shooter,” McDonald revealed before noting further investigation revealed the 9mm gun used in the shooting was stored, unlocked, in a drawer in the parents’ bedroom.
“I want to be really clear,” McDonald said. “These charges are intended to hold the individuals who contributed to this tragedy accountable and also send a message that gun owners have a responsibility.”
“When they fail to uphold that responsibility, there are serious and criminal consequences,” McDonald stated.
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