$1 Million Bond Set For Ethan Crumbley's Fugitive Parents After Manhunt

$1 Million Bond Set For Fugitive Parents Of MI School Shooter After ‘Not Guilty’ Plea For Manslaughter

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Detroit Free Press reported that Jennifer and James Crumbley, parents of the teen charged for the Oxford Township, MI school shooting, were arrested in the early hours of Saturday morning.


Source: JEFF KOWALSKY / Getty

U.S. Marshals joined the statewide manhunt and offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to their arrest after they failed to appear in court on Friday.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald pressed charges against the couple with four counts of involuntary manslaughterone for each of the victims fatally shot by their 15-year-old son, Ethan Crumbley. Police received a tip that the Crumbleys’ vehicle was found abandoned 40 miles away in Detroit late Friday night. They were discovered hiding in a nearby industrial building and arrested around 1:30 a.m.

“I want to be really clear that these charges are intended to hold the individuals who contributed to this tragedy accountable,” McDonald said, announcing the charges for the couple Friday, “and also send a message that gun owners have a responsibility.”

Parents often get blamed when their child commits extreme acts of violence, but the Crumbleys weren’t just enablers. They were more like accomplices, according to the timeline McDonald described of the days and hours leading up to the massacre at Oxford High School.

On Nov. 26, James Crumbley took Ethan to a shooting goods store in Oxford and bought him the gun later used in the shooting, a 9 mm Sig Sauer SP2022 semi-automatic pistol. Shortly after that, Ethan posted a picture of the gun on social media with the caption, “Just got my new beauty today. SIG SAUER 9mm.” The next day, Jennifer posted on social media that she and her son were “testing out his new Christmas present.”

The day before the shooting, a teacher reported to Oxford High School officials that she caught Ethan searching for ammunition on his phone online. The school called and emailed the parents, but they didn’t respond. Jennifer did exchange texts with Ethan, telling him, “LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.”

On Nov. 30, the day of the shooting, the school called Ethan’s parents again because a teacher discovered his “a drawing of a semiautomatic handgun pointing at the words ‘the thoughts won’t stop help me,” McDonald said. The drawing included a bullet with “blood everywhere” written above it.

“Between the drawing of the gun and the bullet is a drawing of a person who appears to have been shot twice and bleeding. Below that figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji,” McDonald continued. The note also said, “my life is useless” and “the world is dead.”

James and Jennifer Cumbley were shown the image, which Ethan tried to scratch out, and ordered by the school to get counseling for their son within 48 hours. Instead of immediately seeking help for their disturbed child, checking to see if Ethan had his gun, or even telling the school about it, the Crumbleys insisted that he return to class and they left the school without him.


Around 1 p.m. that same day, school security camera footage showed Ethan methodically walking the halls of his school, shooting at students and firing into classrooms. He had already surrendered to law enforcement after four students were fatally shot and seven others were injured when Jennifer text her son at 1:22 p.m., “Ethan, don’t do it.”

James Crumbley called 911 about an hour later to report that the gun, which they kept in an unlocked bedroom drawer, was missing from his house and that his son might be the shooter.

Ethan was charged as an adult with terrorism causing death, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

On Saturday morning, Judge Julie Nicholson set a $500,000 bond for each of Ethan’s parents after they plead “not guilty” to the involuntary manslaughter charges. The Crumbleys were held in the same Oakland County Jail as their son.

Our condolences to the victims of this tragedy and their loved ones.


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