Michigan school shooting: Ethan Crumbley’s parents plead not guilty to involuntary manslaughter

PONTIAC, Mich. — The parents of Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old accused of killing four people and injuring seven others in a shooting Tuesday at Oxford High School, were arrested early Saturday morning and face charges related to the deadly attack.

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Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald charged James and Jennifer Crumbley with four counts each of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the deadly shooting. The charges were issued Friday morning in 52nd District Court in Rochester Hills, Michigan, CNN reported.

>> Related: Michigan school shooting: What we know about victims at Oxford High School

Update 10:28 a.m. EST Dec. 4: Judge Julie Nicholson assigned bond of $500,000 each for James and Jennifer Crumbley, The Associated Press reported.

Nicholson also imposed additional requirements, such as GPS monitoring, after agreeing with prosecutors that the couple posed a flight risk. The hearing was conducted via Zoom.

Update 10:01 p.m. EST Dec. 4: The parents of accused Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley pleaded not guilty at around 9:30 a.m. Saturday to involuntary manslaughter charges linked to Tuesday’s mass shooting.

The pleas were entered hours after the couple was located hiding in the basement of a commercial building in Detroit.

Update 8:35 a.m. EST Dec. 4: Detroit Police Chief James White confirmed during an early-morning news conference that James and Jennifer Crumbley “appeared to be hiding” in the basement of a commercial building where officers took them into custody, WJBK reported.

“They were very distressed as they were walking out,” White said.

White also confirmed that officers were acting on a tip when they converged on the Bellevue Street building and that video surveillance corroborated the tip.

“There was video that had one of the fugitives entering the commercial building and hiding in a room,” White said.

The Oakland County prosecutor announced charges against the Crumbleys during a press conference just after noon on Friday. The couple failed to surrender, however, launching the roughly 10-hour manhunt.

The couple is expected to be arraigned later Saturday morning.

The Crumbleys’ arrest came after a local business owner saw a woman standing near “the suspect vehicle” in his parking lot and called 911, according to a statement to CNN from Undersheriff Michael McCabe with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.0

“After an extensive search by DPD including Detroit K-9 units both of the fugitives were located and arrested by DPD,” McCabe told the network.

Update 8:02 a.m. EST Dec. 4: James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of accused Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley, were arrested early Saturday after being located in the basement of a Detroit building following an hours-long manhunt, WJBK reported.

The two wanted fugitives were located and arrested. Kudos to the Detroit Police Department for a great response to a...

Posted by Oakland County Sheriff's Office on Saturday, December 4, 2021

“They didn’t break in. Somebody let them in,” Detroit Police Chief James White said during a 3 a.m. news conference. “We don’t know the relationship yet. That’s active. That person could face charges.”

The Crumbleys were charged with four counts each of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the Tuesday shooting at Oxford High School, in which their son is accused of killing four students and injuring seven others with a gun that James Crumbley purchased four days prior.

Update 11:15 p.m. EST Dec. 3: Officials with the U.S. Marshals Service announced an up to $10,000 reward late Friday for information leading to the arrests of James and Jennifer Crumbley.

The couple is wanted on four counts each of involuntary manslaughter after police said their son, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, shot 11 people, killing four, at Oxford High School on Tuesday afternoon.

Update 5:45 p.m. EST Dec. 3: Officials with the U.S. Marshals Service said Friday afternoon that the agency is joining search for James and Jennifer Crumbley.

James and Jennifer Crumbley were set to be arraigned at 4 p.m. Friday, though they did not appear in court. Attorneys working with them said in a statement obtained by CNN that the couple was returning to the area Friday after fleeing for their own safety.

“They are not fleeing from law enforcement despite recent comments in media reports,” attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman said in the statement.

Update 4:11 p.m. EST Dec. 3: Two attorneys of James and Jennifer Crumbley said they didn’t flee, rather that they left town the night of the shooting “for their own safety,” CNN reported.

They are apparently returning to the area to be arraigned, which is a different message than what the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office shared earlier in the afternoon.

“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,” attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman said, according to CNN.

Update 4:00 p.m. EST Dec. 3: The sheriff’s office has issued an alert saying the Crumbleys are possibly driving a 2021 Kia Seltos SUV. It has Michigan license plate number DQG 5203, CNN reported.

The sheriff warns the public to not approach them if they are spotted.

A Be On the Lookout (BOLO) alert has been issued for James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, the...

Posted by Oakland County Sheriff's Office on Friday, December 3, 2021

Update 3:00 p.m. EST Dec. 3: The Oakland County Fugitive Apprehension Team is looking for James and Jennifer Crumbley after they allegedly stopped responding to their attorneys, The Detroit News and CNN reported.

“Their attorney had assured us that if a decision was made to charge them, she would produce them for arrest,” Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe said, The Detroit News reported.

Update 12:28 p.m. EST Dec. 3: In filing the charges against the parents, McDonald said “There are other individuals who contributed to this,” in reference to the deadly shooting, adding, “it’s my intention to hold them accountable,” CNN reported.

James and Jennifer Crumbley are set to be arraigned Friday afternoon.

McDonald said that when news started to break that a shooting had happened at Oxford High School, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son “Ethan, don’t do it,” CNN reported.

James Crumbley also called 911 to report that the gun, which was stored in an unlocked drawer in the parents’ bedroom, was missing.

Investigators said Ethan Crumbley talked about plans to kill classmates when officials reviewed his cellphone videos and journal, The New York Times reported.

A teacher also said she had found a note on Ethan Crumbley’s desk that “alarmed her to the point she took a picture of it on her cell phone,” CNN reported

The note had a drawing of a handgun with the words “the thoughts won’t stop, help me” and a bullet with the words “blood everywhere.”

Despite concerns about Ethan Crumbley’s behavior, and reaching out to his parents twice, the school had no disciplinary record on the teen and there was no punishment.

“No discipline was warranted,” according to Oxford Community Schools superintendent Tim Throne, said during a video he posted to YouTube, the Times reported.

>>Previous coverage: Superintendent: Discipline not needed for teen before Michigan school shooting

Instead, during a meeting on the morning of the shooting, McDonald said James and Jennifer Crumbley were shown the drawing and were told they were required to get him into counseling within 48 hours. Despite the information given to them by the school, they “failed to ask their son if he 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,” CNN reported.

The Crumbleys pushed back on Ethan Crumbley leaving the school with his parents. They left the building and he went back to class, McDonald said during Friday’s news conference.

McDonald said that after reviewing the shooting and what led up to it, “it’s impossible not to conclude that there was a reason to believe that he [Ethan Crumbley] was going to hurt someone,” CNN reported.

Update 12:15 p.m. EST Dec. 3: McDonald confirmed, during a news conference Friday, that the gun used by Ethan Crumbley was purchased by his father.

McDonald also confirmed that the teen had posted on social media about the gun. The post has been deleted, but according to the prosecutor, it said “Just got my new beauty today. Sig Sauer 9mm.”

Lt. Tim Willis said the gun was a Christmas present and that the school had alerted James and Jennifer Crumbley about their son’s search for ammunition while at school, The Detroit Free Press reported.

When alerted, Jennifer Crumbley allegedly texted her son, “LOL, I’m not mad, you have to learn not to get caught,” McDonald said.

Original report: Police said Ethan Crumbley opened fire at Oxford High School, north of Detroit, just before 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Prosecutors said James Crumbley bought the handgun his son is accused of using last week, the AP reported.

>> Related: Michigan school shooting: Suspect pleads not guilty to killing 4, injuring 7 at Oxford High School

The county sheriff said the firearm, a 9mm SIG Sauer SP2022 pistol, was purchased on Nov. 26, four days before the school shooting, CNN reported.

“The parents were the only individuals in the position to know the access to weapons,” Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said, according to the AP. She added that the gun, “seems to have been just freely available to that individual” and that the parents’ actions went “far beyond negligence.”

During an interview on CNN Thursday night, McDonald said there was a “strong possibility” that Ethan Crumbley had the gun in his backpack when he and his parents met with school officials about his behavior earlier on the same day of the shooting.

>>Previous coverage: WATCH: Chilling video shows terrified students during shooting at Oxford High School

He is not legally allowed to own a firearm due to his age or take it out of the home except to a shooting range or a few other exceptions, CNN reported.

Ethan Crumbley is facing two dozen charges including murder, attempted murder and terrorism, the AP reported.

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