James Crumbley, Jennifer Crumbley Charged in School Shooting
Prosecutors in Oakland County, Mich., on Friday filed charges against the parents of accused school shooter Ethan Crumbley. According to court records obtained by Law&Crime, James Robert Crumbley and Jennifer Lynn Crumbley are charged with four counts each of involuntary manslaughter in Michigan’s 52nd District Court, Division 3.
At a concomitant press conference to announce the charges publicly, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen D. McDonald said James Crumbley bought the gun — a 9mm Sig Sauer — at Acme Shooting Goods in Oxford, Mich., on Nov. 26. Store employees told investigators that Ethan was present for the purchase. That same day, Ethan is alleged to have photographed the gun and shared the image on social media. Ethan referred to the weapon as his “new beauty,” McDonald said.
“Mom and son day testing out his new Christmas present,” Jennifer Crumbley wrote on Nov. 27, McDonald said.
Just days later, on Nov. 30, Ethan is accused of shooting and killing four students inside his school: Hana St. Juliana, 14, Tate Myre, 16, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17.
“While the shooter was the one who entered the high school and pulled the trigger, there were other individuals who contributed to the events of Nov. 30, and it is my intention to hold them accountable as well,” McDonald said. “Gun ownership is a right, and with that right comes great responsibility.”
Surveillance footage showed Ethan Crumbley entered a bathroom with a backpack, Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Marc Keast said during an earlier court appearance for Ethan.
“At that point, he methodically and deliberately walked down the hallway aiming the firearm at students and firing,” Keast said. “Right outside the bathroom, he began firing, judge. After children started running away from the defendant, he continued down the hallway, again at a deliberate and methodical pace, pointing and aiming inside classrooms and at students who hadn’t had the opportunity to escape. This continued on for four or approximately five minutes. The defendant went to another bathroom. As deputies arrived, he set the firearm down, and he surrendered.”
Prosecutors have alleged that Ethan Crumbley’s parents gave him access to the newly purchased gun and turned a blind eye toward several warning signs.
A teacher on Monday reported that Ethan was searching for ammunition on his phone. Cops contacted the Crumbley parents by phone and email about the incident, but they got no response, McDonald said.
“LOL. I’m not mad at you,” Jennifer Crumbley allegedly texted her son in response to that incident. “You have to learn not to get caught.”
But the next day, the teacher found disturbing letters on Ethan’s desk.
“The thoughts won’t stop,” read one statement which included a drawing of a gun pointing to the words on the page. “Help me,” it added.
The teacher took a picture of the images on her cell phone, McDonald said.
Another image showed a bullet and contained the words “blood everywhere,” the prosecutor added.
The letters further included another disturbing image of a person “who appears to have been shot twice and bleeding,” McDonald continued. “Below that figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji.”
“My life is useless,” Ethan allegedly wrote. “The world is dead.”
The parents were summoned to the school, and Ethan was taken from class, McDonald said. Ethan scratched out the drawings and brought his backpack to a meeting with school officials and his parents.
The officials tried to show the pictures to Ethan’s parents, McDonald said; they also told the parents they were “required” to place Ethan in counseling within 48 hours.
“Both James and Jennifer Crumbley 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, which he had with him,” the prosecutors continued.
The parents “resisted the idea . . . of their son leaving the school at that time,” McDonald continued. Rather, the parents left without their son, and Ethan “was returned to the classroom.”
Jennifer Crumbley allegedly texted her son at 1:22 p.m. after the shooting: “Ethan, don’t do it.”
James Crumbley allegedly called 911 at 1:37 p.m. to report that his gun was missing and that his son may have been the shooter.
The gun had been stored unlocked in a drawer at the Crumbley home, McDonald said.
This is a developing story . . .
[Screenshot via WDIV by way of WJXT]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]