The alleged shooter at Oxford High School has been identified as 15-year-old sophomore, Ethan Crumbley.
Crumbley is facing murder, assault, and weapons charges, in addition to one count of terrorism after killing four students and wounding eight.
Now his parents, James Crumbley and Jennifer Crumbley, are each facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter for their role in the violent attack.
Why Are The Parents Of The Shooter Being Held Accountable?
Speaking as a parent, it’s our job to shape & mold our children into good human beings. Parents are responsible for teaching kids right & wrong. The #Crumbleys failed their son & are culpable for his heinous actions. My deepest sympathies go out to the victims of this tragedy.
— MATT HARDY (@MATTHARDYBRAND) December 4, 2021
On Friday, November 3, lead prosecutor Karen McDonald revealed the series of events leading up to the surprising charges.
The gun used in the shooting, a 9mm Sig Sauer semi-automatic handgun, was purchased by James on Black Friday, only days before the shooting. A store employee said that his son was present for the purchase.
That weekend, Jennifer reportedly brought her son to a shooting range and posted about it on social media, calling the gun his Christmas present.
When Ethan was caught searching for ammunition on his phone at school, emails and calls to his parents went unanswered. Instead, Jennifer reportedly texted her son about the incident, saying, “LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.”
The morning of the shooting, Ethan’s parents were summoned to the school after a teaser saw an “alarming” drawing on Ethan’s desk of a gun, a bullet, and a bleeding figure.
His parents “resisted” pulling their son out of school and he was returned to class only hours before the violent attack.
A Nationwide Manhunt Leads To A Quick Arrest
Not fleeing…Just taking a nice little trip downtown to sleep in a warehouse. https://t.co/HbRTBNbjoa
— Jake Neher (@GJNeher) December 4, 2021
As The Blast previously reported, The Crumbleys failed to show for their arraignment on Friday afternoon. Although a statement from their attorney said that they had left town for their own safety, the couple headed to the nearby town of Rochester Hills and withdrew $4,000 dollars from an ATM.
This led to a manhunt that was joined by the FBI and US Marshals, who offered a $10,000 reward for any information relating to their whereabouts. Although law enforcement had been tracking the couple’s cell phones, the signal led to a dead end when the couple turned their cell phones off, seemingly in an effort to avoid detection.
A local business owner called 911 after locating the couple’s black SUV in a parking lot. The couple fled on foot and was later located hiding in a nearby commercial building forty miles south of the Oxford area.
Detroit Police Department Chief James E. White explained that the person who let them into the business “could be charged.”
He also cast doubt on the attorney’s claim that the couple intended to turn themselves “first thing this morning.” White said that “hiding in a warehouse” is not “indicative of turning themselves in.”
The couple was taken back to Oakland County Jail, where their son is also being held. During their arraignment on Saturday morning, the couple pled not guilty to all charges against them. They are being held on a $500,000 dollar bond each for a combined $1 million dollar bond.
If the couple does post bail, Judge Julie Nicholson required GPS monitoring after agreeing with the prosecutor’s claims that they posed a flight risk.
According to the Star Tribune, Jennifer Crumbley “sobbed and struggled to respond to the judge’s questions at times and James Crumbley shook his head when a prosecutor said their son had full access to the gun used in the killings.”
One of the lawyers for the couple, Shannon Smith, has accused prosecutors of “cherry-picking” facts to reveal to the public, including the claim that the gun used in the fatal shooting was stored in an unlocked bedroom drawer.
Smith said that the gun “was locked” and added, “Our clients are just as devasted as everyone else.”