Entertainment And News

Oxford High School Shooter's Parents James And Jennifer Crumbley Arrested After Manhunt

Photo: Oakland County Sherriff Department
Ethan Crumbley, Jennifer Crumbley, James Crumbley

After a statewide manhunt, James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley who was charged in the Oxford High School shooting, were apprehended and arrested overnight at 1:45 a.m. in an commercial building not far from where their car had been previously located hours before. 

The couple were found hiding inside the commercial building and were "distressed," according to Detroit Police Chief James White.

The Crumbleys pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges on Saturday morning, hours after police took them into custody.

A judge, citing her concern that the couple did not appear at an arraignment Friday, set bond at $500,000 each, substantially more than defense attorneys asked for.

James Crumbley, 45, and Jennifer Crumbley, 43, appeared in court via video from the Oakland County Jail.

Jennifer Crumbley appeared to cry and at times struggled to respond to the judge's questions. James Crumbley shook his head when a prosecutor said their son had full access to the gun used in the killings.

The Oakland County fugitive team worked with the FBI and US Marshalls to search search for Jennifer and James Crumbley after they failed to turn themselves in after being charged in connection to this week's deadly shooting at Michigan's Oxford High School.

They were scheduled to surrender to authorities at 2 p.m. local time on Friday, but their whereabouts were unknown. They reportedly withdrew $4,000 from a bank prior to going missing and turned their phones off, according to NBC News. 

A statewide Be On the Lookout (BOLO) alert had been issued for the couple and the FBI and US Marshalls are assisting local authorities with the manhunt. Wanted posters had been released for each of them with a reward of $10,000. 

 

What are Ethan Crumbley’s parents charged with? 

Jennifer and James Crumbley have each been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter — the maximum charge available for the allegations against them.

RELATED: Media Slammed As ‘Racist’ For Using Innocent Photo Of Suspected Michigan School Shooter Praying

Their son has been charged as an adult with terrorism, murder and other counts.

The charges against Ethan’s mother and father are a rare instance of charges against the parents of the alleged school shooters. 

It will be up to prosecutors to prove that Jennifer and James were criminally negligent and acted in such a way that contributed to the deaths of four teenagers. 

And doing so may not be too difficult given the allegations against the two parents. 

James Crumbley allegedly purchased a gun for Ethan Crumbley.

The 9mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 pistol used in Tuesday's shooting was purchased days earlier at a local gun shop, prosecutors say. Ethan was reportedly present during the purchase.

Jennifer posted about her son’s “new Christmas present” on social media. 

McDonald stated that the weapon was stored unlocked in a drawer in Ethan’s parents’ bedroom which he presumably accessed ahead of the shooting.

Jennifer Crumbley appears to have ignored her son’s concerning behavior.

One day before the shooting, an Oxford High School teacher reported that Ethan had been using his phone to search for ammunition while at school.

RELATED: Video From Inside Oxford High School Shows Students Fleeing Through A Window After Shooting

McDonald says school officials left a voicemail for the mother of the sophomore student but she did not respond. 

She did, however, send a message to her son after the missed call that read: "LOL I'm not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught."

Ethan Crumbley’s parents allegedly ‘resisted’ advice to take him out of school on the day of the shooting.

On the morning of the shooting, Jennifer and James attended a meeting at Oxford High School about their son’s behavior. 

Ethan’s teacher had found a drawing on his desk depicting a handgun, bullet and shooting victim, with the words "blood everywhere" and "the thoughts won't stop, help me."

Concerned school staff called in the parents and suggested they seek psychological help for their son.

RELATED: Meijer Praised For Shutting Entire Store To Help Survivors Of Oxford School Shooting Reunite With Their Parents

The parents allegedly “resisted the idea” and didn’t take their son with them when they left the school, instead Ethan returned to class shortly before the shooting began.

"Both James and Jennifer Crumbley failed to ask if their son had his gun with him or where his gun was located, and failed to inspect his backpack for the presence of the gun, which he had with him," McDonald said.

Jennifer Crumbley allegedly texted Ethan Crumbley during the shooting. 

Not long after the shooting began, shortly before 1 p.m, an alert was sent to parents and guardians that there was an emergency situation at Oxford High School.

"When the news of the active shooter at Oxford High School had been made public, Jennifer Crumbley texted to her son at 1:22 p.m., 'Ethan, don't do it,'" McDonald said. 

15 minutes later, James Crumbley called 911 to report that the gun used in the shooting was missing from his home and that it may be his son who committed the school shooting.

The charges against the Crumbley family should send a message to gun owners.

"These charges are intended to hold the individuals who contributed to this tragedy accountable, and also send a message that gun owners have a responsibility. When they fail to uphold that responsibility, there are serious and criminal consequences," McDonald said when explaining the charges. 

The parents are due to be arraigned at 4 p.m. Friday on their four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

A fugitive task force is still looking for Jennifer and James Crumbley.

The Crumbleys own a 2021 black Kia Seltos with the license plate DQG5203 and a 2019 white Kia Soul Station Wagon with the license plate DZH8994, according to the Sheriff's office.

RELATED: Mom Of Michigan School Shooting Suspect Wrote A Letter To Trump To Criticize Immigrants & Praise Gun Right

Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!