Here is what we know about Ethan Crumbley, the Michigan school shooter who took the lives of four schoolmates and wounded seven other people at Oxford High School.
- Ethan Crumbley has been charged as an adult with four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of assault with intent to murder.
- His parents are still jailed, being held on a $500,000 bond charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
- School officials were told by Crumbley that graphically violent drawings that were confiscated from the teen on the day of the mass shooting “were for a video game” he was designing.
- Crumbley’s parents have had prior run-ins with the law.
James and Jennifer Crumbley were taken into custody early Saturday after they failed to turn themselves in Friday afternoon for a scheduled arraignment, prompting an hours-long search for the couple. As of this writing, they remain in the Oakland County jail on Sunday and have not posted bail -which a judge set at $500,000 each.
The couple was captured in Detroit after a business owner called 911 after spotting the suspects’ car in their parking lot and Jennifer Crumbley standing next to it, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. She fled the area on foot, but the couple was located in a commercial building in an art studio after an extensive search of the area.
They were “aided in getting into the building,” Detroit Police Chief James White told reporters at a 3 a.m. press conference Saturday, adding that it was “very likely” they were trying to flee to Canada. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said his office would be presenting potential charges to the prosecutor’s office against the person who allegedly helped them gain access to the building.
Each parent is facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter for what authorities are saying was a failure to properly secure the firearm that was used in the shooting. They have both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the latest reporting, On Tuesday, the morning of the shooting, a teacher at Oxford High School saw a note on Ethan Crumbley’s desk with a drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointing at the words, “The thoughts won’t stop, help me,” prosecutors said. Another drawing depicted a bullet with the words “Blood everywhere” above it and a drawing of a bleeding person who appeared to have been shot twice.
Ethan Crumbley was then removed from class, and his parents, who school officials said were “difficult to reach,” were called to the school.
Ethan Crumbley told school guidance counselors that the drawings were for a video game he was designing, Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne said in a statement Saturday.
“When the parents were asked to take their son home for the day, they flatly refused and left without their son, apparently to return to work,” Thorne reportedly wrote in the letter.
“Given the fact that the child had no prior disciplinary infractions, the decision was made he would be returned to the classroom rather than sent home to an empty house.”
Officials could not confirm media reports that Crumbley was carrying a gun in his backpack all the while.
“While we understand this decision has caused anger, confusion and prompted understandable questioning, the counselors made a judgment based on their professional training and clinical experience and did not have all the facts we now know,” the Oxford statement said.
As Ethan’s parents left, they were told that they were required to get their son into counseling within 48 hours. Only a few hours later, Ethan Crumbley was armed with a 9 mm Sig Sauer pistol – apparently a Christmas gift from his father that the elder Crumbley bought on Nov. 26 – which he used as he walked down the hallway, firing into classrooms.
Ethan Crumbley has been charged as an adult with four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of assault with intent to murder.
The current serious charges against James and Jennifer Crumbley are not their first run-ins with the law. Each of them has various minor offenses from the time they were living in Florida prior to relocating to Michigan.
According to online records in Duval County, Florida, James and Jennifer Crumbley were charged with DUI on Feb. 12, 2005, pleaded no contest, and were fined $652 each.
James was also busted by the Atlantic Beach Police Department for driving with a suspended license and having an improper tag. He paid a fine of more than $200.
A few years earlier, in 2003, Jennifer was accused of writing a worthless check for $150, but the misdemeanor case was later dismissed. She committed the same offense in 2004 and was fined $240, according to the records.
James also got embroiled in legal trouble over child-support payments to his ex-wife, with whom he shares 18-year-old son Eli, Ethan’s half-brother, the Daily Beast reported.