UPDATE: James and Jennifer Crumbly were taken into custody in the early hours of December 4 after failing to appear for their arraignment following a mass shooting at a Michigan high school. Ethan Crumbley allegedly shot 11 people, killing four, in a shooting in Oxford, Michigan. Crumbley is in custody and his parents were arrested after police received a tip-off that they were apparently hiding out in a Detroit art studio. A lawyer for the couple claims they had planned to surrender to police. The pair face involuntary manslaughter charges relating to the shooting allegedly perpetrated by their 15-year-old son.
Original Report: The parents of Ethan Crumbley, the student who killed four students and injured at least seven others during a shooting spree at Oxford High in Michigan, are wanted by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced today, Dec. 3, that she was going to issue charges against James and Jennifer Crumbley, but Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told Fox News that when deputies went “to arrest the parents,” their attorney said the couple is “now unresponsive.” A statewide “Be on the Lookout” (BOLO) was issued for the pair just after 1 p.m. CT, according to Rudy Harper, second deputy chief of media relations for the Detroit Police Department.
On Dec. 2, Mr. and Mrs. Crumbley told authorities “they were going to turn themselves in,” according to Bouchard. “The attorney said she would make that happen this morning,” he stated.
Ethan Crumbley, 15, allegedly fired at least 30 rounds of ammunition in the hallways of his school on Nov. 30, killing four and injuring seven other people. The parents are facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter. The prosecutor said the recovered weapon was a 9mm SIG Sauer pistol which had been purchased by James Crumbley with his son at a local firearms store on Black Friday. That same day, Nov. 26, Ethan bragged on social media about his present, posting a picture of the gun with the caption: “Just got my new beauty today. SIG SAUER 9mm.”
The following day, Jennifer boasted on social media about having a “mom and son day testing out his new Christmas present.” And just two days later, on Nov. 29, a teacher saw Ethan searching on his phone for ammunition, which she reported to school officials. The parents did not respond to the school’s attempt to get a hold of them, but later, Mrs. Crumbley exchanged texts with her son saying, “LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.”
On the morning of the shooting, Ethan’s teacher found an alarming note from the student that contained “a drawing of a semiautomatic handgun pointing at the words ‘the thoughts won’t stop. help me’.” It also had a drawing of a bullet with “blood everywhere” written above it. Between the gun and the bullet was a drawing of a person who appears to have been shot and bleeding with a laughing emoji under it and the words “my life is useless” and “the world is dead” written on it, according to the prosecution.
The parents were summoned to the school but, having been informed of their son’s behavior and advised to seek counseling for him within 48 hours, Mr. and Mrs. Crumbley reportedly left the school, without taking Ethan with them or checking on the whereabouts of the gun. A couple of hours later, Ethan allegedly opened fire in the school’s hallway.
Although there is a statewide BOLO out on the adult Crumbleys, the parents’ attorneys said the couple had left town the night of the shooting “for their own safety” and are not trying to evade the law. In a statement, attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman explained:
“The Crumbleys left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety. They are returning to the area to be arraigned. They are not fleeing from law enforcement despite recent comments in media reports.”
“On Thursday night we contacted the Oakland County prosecutor to discuss this matter and to advise her that James and Jennifer Crumbley would be turning themselves in to be arraigned. Instead of communicating with us, the prosecutor held a press conference to announce charges.”
The couple has until 4:30 p.m. local time today to turn themselves in for arraignment.
~ Read more from Kelli Ballard.