James and Jennifer Crumbley Charged With Four Counts of First Degree Manslaughter

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December 3, 2021 ~ James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of suspected Oxford High School shooter Ethen Crumbley, have each been charged with four counts of first degree manslaughter in connection to the deadly shooting at the school on Tuesday. 

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said Friday that James Crumbley and his son Ethan went to a gun store and purchased a gun last Friday, November 26. According to McDonald, Ethan’s social media posts pointed to the fact that James bought gun for his son. His mother, Jennifer, later posted on social media, “Mom and son day, testing out his new X-mas present,” according to authorities.

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On Monday, McDonald says Ethan was caught looking at bullets on his cell phone in class. McDonald says a school official saw it, and a voicemail was left for the Crumbley’s. After school officials never heard a response, they followed up the voicemail with an email, but again never got a response.  

Authorities say Jennifer Crumbley sent a text messages about the incident to her son, saying, “LOL I’m not mad. You have to learn not to get caught.” 

Then, just hours before the shooting on Tuesday, Ethan’s teacher found a note on his desk that was so alarming – she took a picture of it and alerted school officials. It was a drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointed at the words, “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.” Elsewhere on the note was a drawing of a bullet with the words above that bullet, “Blood everywhere.” Between the drawing of the gun and the bullet is a drawing of a person, who authorities say appears to have been shot twice and was bleeding. Below that was the drawing of a laughing emoji. Further down the paper were the words, “My life is useless,” and to the right of those were “The world is dead.” 

At 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, the Crumbley’s were asked to come to the school to talk to a school counselor. James and Jennifer were shown the picture, but by that time Ethan had scratched out much of the troubling illustrations. James and Jennifer were told by the school official to get Ethan into counseling within 48 hours. That’s when officials with the school say the Crumbley’s “resisted the idea of Ethan leaving the school at that time.” The Crumbley’s left, and Ethan stayed in school.

Authorities say when the news of the active shooter at Oxford High School became public, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son at 1:22 p.m., “Ethan, don’t do it.” 

Authorities also say at 1:37 p.m., James Crumbley called 911 to report that a gun was missing from his house and he believed his son might be the shooter. McDonald says that gun, that was purchased just four days prior to the shooting, was kept in an unlocked drawer inside James and Jennifer Crumbley’s bedroom.  

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