Days after authorities said a Michigan high school student opened fire at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit, killing four and injuring seven others, the prosecutor announced it would also file criminal charges. against his parents.
At a news conference Friday, Karen D. McDonald, the district attorney in Oakland County, Michigan, told the actions of James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of the 15-year-old suspect, that led to her decision to file criminal charges.
Read below a transcript of Ms. McDonald’s statement, slightly edited for clarity.
Although the shooter was the one who went to high school and pulled the trigger, there are other individuals who contributed to the events of November 30, and it is my intention to hold them accountable as well. It is imperative that we prevent this from happening again. No other parent or community should have to go through this nightmare.
I’ve said before, and I’ll repeat today, that gun ownership is a right. And with that right comes great responsibility. Based on the information and evidence I have received, I am today announcing charges against the shooter’s parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley. The charges are as follows: James Crumbley is charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Jennifer Crumbley is also charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. I will now publish the details leading up to that decision, which have already been made public before.
The investigation into the school shooting incident at Oxford High School, which took place on November 30, 2021, has revealed that James Crumbley purchased the SIG Sauer 9-millimeter model SP2022 on November 26 from Acme Shooting Goods in Oxford, Michigan. 2021. A store associate confirms that Ethan Crumbley was with James at the time of purchase. By statute, James Crumbley has completed ATF Form 5300.9A.
On or about November 26, 2021, Ethan Crumbley’s social media posts will reveal photos of a semi-automatic pistol, along with the caption, “I got my new beauty today,” including a heart emoji. “SIG Sauer 9mm. I will answer all questions.”
After purchasing that gun, one of Jennifer Crumbley’s social media posts on approximately 11/27/2011 read: “Mother and son day, test out his new Christmas present.”
[The day before the shooting] an Oxford High School teacher saw Ethan Crumbley searching for ammunition on his cellphone during class and reported the same to school officials. Jennifer Crumbley was contacted via voicemail by school staff regarding that son’s inappropriate Internet search. School staff say they followed that voicemail with an email, but received no response from either parent. Afterwards, Jennifer Crumbley texted about the incident with her son that day, saying, “LOL, I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.”
On November 30, 2021, the morning of the shooting the next day, Ethan Crumbley’s teacher found a note on Ethan’s desk that disturbed her so much that she took a picture of it on her cellphone. The note contained the following: a drawing of a semi-automatic pistol, pointing to the words: “The thoughts will not stop. Help me.” In another part of the note was a drawing of a bullet, with the following words above that bullet: “Blood everywhere.” Between the drawing of the gun and the bullet is a drawing of a person who was shot twice. appears to have been shot and bleeds. Beneath that figure is a drawing of a smiling emoji. Farther down the drawing are the words, “My life is useless.” And to the right of that are the words, “The world is dead. “
As a result, James and Jennifer Crumbley were immediately called to the school. A school counselor came to the classroom, took the gunman away and carried him to the office with his backpack. Counsel got the drawing, but the shooter had already changed it. The drawings of the gun and the bloodied figure were scratched out, along with the words ‘Help me’ and ‘My life is useless’, ‘The world is dead’ and ‘Blood everywhere’. They have all been changed by him.
At the meeting, James and Jennifer Crumbley were shown the drawing and told to get their son into therapy 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 and failed to inspect his backpack for the gun he was carrying. James and Jennifer Crumbley resisted the idea of their son dropping out of school at the time. Instead, James and Jennifer Crumbley dropped out of high school without their son. He returned to class.
When news of the active shooter at Oxford High School was made public, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son at 1:22 p.m., “Ethan, don’t do it.”
At 1:37 p.m. James Crumbley called 911 and reported that a gun had gone missing from his home, and he thought his son might be the shooter.
Closer investigation revealed that the 9-millimeter SIG Sauer pistol purchased by James Crumbley was locked unlocked in a drawer in James and Jennifer’s bedroom. The gun found after the shooter’s school shooting was the same gun his father, James Crumbley, had purchased in the presence of his son on Nov. 26, 2021.
I want to be very clear that these charges are intended to hold accountable those who contributed to this tragedy, and also to send the message that gun owners have a responsibility. Failure to comply with this responsibility has serious and criminal consequences. As we work together to honor the lives lost and all those affected by this week’s evil deeds, justice for the victims and their families is paramount in today’s announcement. We need to do better in this country. We have to say enough is enough.