Michigan school shooting - latest: Ethan Crumbley’s parents plead not guilty as mother sobs in court

·70-min read

Ethan Crumbley’s parents pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter in connection to their son’s alleged shooting rampage at Oxford High School that led to the death of four students on Tuesday.

James and Jennifer Crumbley appeared at an arraignment in front of judge Julie Nicholson this morning after being arrested by Detroit Police around 1.30am earlier today.

The arrest came after officers found a vehicle, believed to belong to the Crumbleys late on Friday, when they were searching for the couple. The vehicle was reported by the owner of the industrial building where the couple was located.

James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of the 15-year-old accused, had gone missing after being charged with involuntary manslaughter on Friday.

Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced the charges against James and Jennifer Crumbley on Friday, three days after their son Ethan allegedly killed four classmates and wounded seven others.

On Tuesday morning, the parents attended a meeting with Mr Crumbley and administrators after another teacher found a note on his desk with a drawing of a handgun that read: “The thoughts won’t stop, help me.”

The parents allegedly insisted Mr Crumbley return to class, and three hours later he carried out the massacre. When she heard reports of an active shooter, Jennifer Crumbley allegedly texted: “Ethan, don’t do it.”

Read More

Everything we know about Ethan Crumbley’s parents, who have been arrested and charged with manslaughter

Oxford school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley’s mother weeps as she and husband plead not guilty after arrest

Oxford school shooting: Parents of alleged Michigan school shooter arrested in Detroit after going missing

Key Points

  • Ethan Crumbley’s parents arrested by Detroit police

  • Ethan Crumbley’s parents charged with involuntary manslaughter

  • Mother’s chilling texts revealed

  • Everything we know about the shooting so far

  • What we know about the students killed

  • Suspect allegedly shared ‘countdown’ on Instagram before shooting

  • School chief issues defence in video message

Oxford school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley’s mother weeps as she and husband plead not guilty

15:20 , Thomas Kingsley

The mother of Michigan high school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley wept as she and her husband pleaded not guilty at their arraignment, hours after they were arrested following a huge overnight manhunt.

They both pleaded not guilty to all the charges via video link from Oakland County Jail - the same jail where their son has been held since his arrest on multiple murder charges.

Ms Crumbley sobbed and covered her face with her hand as she said she understood the charges and entered her plea.

Our reporter Rachel Sharp has the full story below:

Ethan Crumbley’s mother weeps as she pleads not guilty following arrest

James and Jennifer Crumbley plead not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter

14:52 , Thomas Kingsley

James and Jennifer Crumbley plead not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter in connection to their son’s alleged shooting rampage at Oxford HS that led to deaths of four students.

The couple appeared at an arraignment in 52-3 District Court charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, a 15-year felony, after being arrested by Detroit Police around 1:30am today.

 (EPA)
(EPA)

Pictures show parents of alleged school shooter booked into custody

13:55 , Thomas Kingsley

Booking images released by the Oakland County Sheriff showing James Crumbley (L) and Jennifer Crumbley (R) who the Sheriff advises are the parents of accused Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley and have been taken into custody after a daylong search and are charged with Involuntary Manslaughter in connection with the shooting days after 15-year-old student Ethan Crumbley allegedly killed four classmates before surrendering to police at Oxford, High School in Oxford, Michigan

 (EPA)
(EPA)

ICYMI: Ethan Crumbley ‘had gun with him’ at parent-teacher meeting hours before massacre

13:25 , Thomas Kingsley

The teen accused of carrying out a deadly shooting at his Michigan high school allegedly had the gun in his backpack during a meeting with administrators and his parents just three hours before the attack.

Ethan Crumbley, 15, is accused of shooting dead four classmates and wounding seven others at Oxford High School on Tuesday afternoon with a gun his father purchased four days prior.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald on Thursday said investigators believe Mr Crumbley had the gun in his backpack when he arrived at school that morning.

Michigan school shooting: Ethan Crumbley ‘had gun with him’ at meeting before attack

Pictures show police surround parents of alleged shooter before arresting them

11:19 , Thomas Kingsley

Law enforcement surround the building where James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of suspected Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley, were arrested on December 4, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Thousands join vigil in Oxford for school shooting victims

10:49 , Thomas Kingsley

Thousands of locals in the Oxford community came together to mourn the school shooting victims on Tuesday which saw four students killed and several others injured.

The community has been at a standstill since the shooting leading to dozens of school closures in the area amid one of the biggest mass shooting cases in America this year.

ICYMI: Michigan school chief says suspect was not disciplined on morning of shooting in lengthy video statement

10:20 , Thomas Kingsley

The superintendent of Michigan’s Oxford Community Schools has said the 15-year-old suspect in Tuesday’s mass shooting was not disciplined during a meeting in the school’s office earlier on the day of the killings.

Tim Throne released his first lengthy statement on the shooting late on Thursday, an almost 13-minute long video posted to YouTube.

“To say that I am still in shock and numb is probably an understatement. These events that have occurred will not define us,” a stoney-faced Mr Throne said.

Our reporter Shweta Sharma has the full report below:

Michigan school chief says suspect was not disciplined on morning of shooting

Crowd gathers outside hospital of organ-donating victim of Michigan school shooting

09:42 , Thomas Kingsley

A crowd of hundreds gathered outside a Michigan hospital on Friday in support of Justin Shilling, one of the victims of the Oxford High School mass shooting earlier this week, as his body was moved into surgery for organ donation.

The 17-year-old was proclaimed dead on Wednesday, a day after the fatal shooting. Four students were killed and seven others were injured after their classmate allegedly opened fire indiscriminately in the halls of the high school.

Justin’s family has decided to donate his organs to Florida-based NGO Gift of Life. His body was kept on life support in the McLaren Oakland Hospital until the organs could be harvested.

Our reporter Stuti Mishra has the full report below:

Crowd gathers outside hospital of organ-donating victim of Michigan school shooting

ICYMI: Everything we know about deadly Michigan attack and suspect Ethan Crumbley

09:09 , Thomas Kingsley

The Michigan school shooting has sent shockwaves through the world as four teenagers were killed and several others injured. The fatal incident has restarted conversations about mass shootings in the US and controversial gun laws in some states.

The suspected shooter, 15-year-old sophomore Ethan Crumbley, was taken into custody by police in response to the incident at Oxford High School in Oxford Township, a community of 22,000 people 30 miles north of Detroit, and a semi-automatic handgun was recovered.

On Wednesday Mr Crumbley appeared virtually in court to hear charges of terrorism and first degree murder, to which he pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors accused him of “methodically and deliberately” firing on his fellow students.

Our reporter Joe Sommerlad has more details below on everything we know about the shooter and the incident.

Everything we know about the Oxford High School shooting

‘Copycat’ threats after Oxford shooting spur school closures, police say

08:50 , Thomas Kingsley

A deluge of “copycat threats” following Tuesday's shooting at Oxford High School prompted warnings from Oakland County law enforcement officials that false claims will be rooted out and prosecuted.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said at least 60 schools across the state as far away as Bay City had closed Thursday and Friday amid shooting threats.

Authorities had anticipated a flood of false threats, he said, but the numbers are so "completely off the charts" that they are straining resources and his staff has made a spreadsheet to track them.

Waterford resident Andrew Baldwin, cousin of Madisyn Baldwin, places candles at the base of a a memorial with his 5-year-old daughter Ariyah Baldwin (AP)
Waterford resident Andrew Baldwin, cousin of Madisyn Baldwin, places candles at the base of a a memorial with his 5-year-old daughter Ariyah Baldwin (AP)

Why have Ethan Crumbley’s parents been arrested?

08:21 , Thomas Kingsley

Ethan Crumbley’s parents have been arrested after not appearing in court on Friday prompting a manhunt in search for them.

Jennifer and James Crumbley had been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald’s office filed the charges against James and Jennifer Crumbley, the Associated Press reported on Friday, three days after their 15-year-old son allegedly opened fire in the halls of Oxford High School, killing four classmates.

Ms McDonald announced the charges at a press conference on Friday stating that “there are other individuals who contributed to this”. “It is my intention to hold them accountable.”

Officials said the parents had ignored warning signs and called some of their actions prior to the shooting “egregious”.

Our reporter Graig Graziosi has more details below:

Michigan school shooting: Ethan Crumbley’s mom texted him ‘don’t do it’

Parents of high school shooting accused arrested

07:52 , Stuti Mishra

James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley who is accused in the Oxford High School shooting, have been arrested in Detroit early on Saturday after their SUV was found during the search, officials have said.

The couple was found on the first floor of an industrial building on Bellevue Street, the spot where the car was seen around midnight on Friday.

Police say the owner of the building identified the black Kia SUV from the information shared by the police which led to their arreast.

“The owner of the building arrived and saw the car in the back parking lot, knew it didn’t belong there, went to investigate," Undersheriff Mike McCabe told the Detroit Free Press on the finding of the car.

The couple was arrested at about 1.45pm.

More details here:

Parents of alleged Michigan school shooter arrested in Detroit, authorities say

SUV belonging to Crumbleys found as police continue manhunt

06:57 , Stuti Mishra

An SUV believed to be belonging to the parents of Oxford High School shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley has been spotted by the police in Detroit’s east side area.

James and Jennifer Crumbley have been missing since they were charged with involuntary manslaughter on Friday.

Officers identified the vehicle, a black Kia SUV with number DQG 5203, around 1am on Saturday when they were searching for the couple, deputy chief Rudy Harper of the Detroit Police Department told the Detroit Free Press. The vehicle was empty.

A search is underway in Detroit after a woman believed to be Jennifer Crumbley was seen walking away from the vehicle, according to journalist Brian Entin quoting an official with the Oakland county sheriff’s office.

The Crumbleys, who prosecutors say bought a gun for their minor son and were aware of his suspicious behaviour before the shooting, were scheduled to appear for their arraignment on Friday afternoon but never showed up.

While their attorney claims they haven’t fled and had contacted the police on Friday, several agencies including the US marshals are looking for the couple and a reward has been offered for any leads.

'We’re in this together', students, essential workers gather to support Justin Shilling's parents

06:34 , Stuti Mishra

Crowd of hundreds gathered outside Michigan’s McLaren Oakland hospital where the body of Justin Shilling, one of the four victims of the Oxford High School shooting, was kept on life support.

While his parents said their goodbyes to their 17-year-old son and the body was taken in for surgery, community members gathered outside with signboards for a honour walk — a common practice when a patient’s family chooses to donate organs.

The crowd consisted of students from Oxford High School, their friends, medical staff and emergency workers. Many of them wept and clapped for the Shillings as they appeared briefly on an overhead walkway. Some children held signs that read “Oxford Strong, RIP Justin”.

“We’re in this together” was written on the back of the jacket of a student who had gathered at the hospital.

Here are the highlights from the gathering:

Crowd gathers outside hospital of organ-donating victim of Michigan school shooting

ICYMI: The charges against James and Jennifer Crumbley

05:36 , Stuti Mishra

In a rare move, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, accused in the Oxford High School shooting, have been charged for involuntary manslaughter on the grounds that they failed to intervene on the day of the tragedy despite clear signals.

James and Jennifer Crumbley bought a gun and made it available to their son as well as resisted his removal from school when they were called in a few hours before the shooting, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said.

A teacher saw Crumbley searching for ammunition on his phone when the parents were called. The mother subsequently contacted her son and told him in a text message: “Lol. I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught,” according to the prosecutor.

She added that the charges against the couple are the strongest allowed under Michigan law.

Parents in the US are rarely charged in shooting incidents where a minor is involved, despite the fact that most minors get guns from a parent or an adult in the house, according to experts.

A Washington Post analysis of 105 school shootings between 1999 and 2018 found that the guns used were taken from the shooter’s home - or that of a relative or friend - in 84 cases.

However, only four of those cases saw adult owners of the weapons face criminal charges.

NBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos told the outlet that the case can perhaps “herald a new era of holding parents responsible for homicides committed by their children”.

The couple was scheduled to appear at an arraignment on Friday but they did not turn up. The police are now looking for them.

The Independent’s Megan Sheets reports on the seriousness of the charges against the couple and what punishment they could face.

Ethan Crumbley’s parents charged with involuntary manslaughter

How lawmakers in Washington are reacting to the Oxford shooting

04:00 , Josh Marcus

The mass shooting in Oxford, Michigan, this week has shocked communities all across the country, Washington, DC, included.

Lawmakers like US Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Chris Murphy of Connecticut both gave impassioned speeches in Congress about the killings.

Watch below:

Oxford high school shooting is the latest in a record two years of guns and violence

03:40 , Josh Marcus

The mass shooting at a Michigan high school this week is the latest in a two-year stretch full of record gun sales and gun violence.

Here’s how The Independent has covered this alarming trend:

US gun sales break records as shops selling firearms declared essential

2020 confirmed as America’s deadliest gun violence year in decades

Americans buy record number of guns ahead of election

Record gun sales in January after Capitol insurrection

Gun sales continuing to spike as officials say they fear summer of violence with crime rates rising

Everything we know about Ethan Crumbley’s parents, who have been charged with manslaughter

03:10 , Josh Marcus

Prosecutors in Michigan have charged the parents of alleged Oxford high school shooter Ethan Crumbley with four charges each of involuntary manslaughter.

During a press conference on Friday announcing the charges, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said it was “impossible not to conclude” that the 15-year-old’s parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, could have done more to stop the mass shooting, which killed four students and injured seven people altogether.Here’s what we know about the Crumbleys, who haven’t been located and missed their scheduled arraignment on Friday.

Everything we know about Ethan Crumbley’s parents, who were charged with manslaughter

ICYMI: ‘Ethan don’t do it’: Mother’s texts to Michigan shooting suspect revealed as parents charged with manslaughter

02:40 , Josh Marcus

The mother of Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old boy accused of killing four classmates at his Oxford, Michigan high school, sent him texts warning him not to get caught after the boy was found reading about ammunition on his phone while in class and telling him “don’t so it” after initial reports of shots fired at the school became public.

The Independent’s Graig Graziosi has the details.

Michigan school shooting: Ethan Crumbley’s mom texted him ‘don’t do it’

Commentators compare missing Crumbley parents to fugitive Brian Laundrie

02:10 , Josh Marcus

Social media commentators are comparing Ethan Crumbley’s missing parents to Brian Laundrie, the person of interest of interest and boyfriend of murdered travel vlogger Gabby Petito, who fled police before dying by suicide after a nationwide manhunt. Here’s some of our coverage on Laundrie:

Brian Laundrie shot himself in the head, family attorney says

Everything we know about Brian Laundrie as his remains are identified

And here’s what some commentators online are saying about the parallels between the two cases:

What policy solutions could’ve stopped the Oxford mass shooting?

01:40 , Josh Marcus

During a press conference on Friday, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said that alleged shooter Ethan Crumbley was able to easily take his father’s gun out of an unlocked drawer the day of the mass shooting.

Other states and countries have tried numerous ways of reducing the risk of guns falling into the hands of young people, from safe storage rules to outright bans on firearms.

Here are some promising solutions that The Independent has covered in recent years.

These 4 countries have nearly eliminated gun deaths — here's what the US can learn

Oregon bans guns from Capitol, demands safe storage in homes

WATCH: Ethan Crumbley’s parents appeared to suspect he would commit mass shooting

01:10 , Josh Marcus

Following the mass shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan this week, the inevitable question on many minds was: were there any warning signs that people missed before the tragic killings?According to local prosecutors, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, the alleged shooter, were apparently suspicious enough that their son could be at risk of committing violence that when they heard news of the shooting, Mr Crumbley’s mother Jennifer texted her son, “Don’t do it.”

US Marshals task force joins hunt for Ethan Crumbley’s parents

00:50 , Josh Marcus

The US Marshals Service, the federal agency responsible for judicial security and apprehending federal fugitives, has officially joined the hunt for Jennifer and James Crumbley, who have been charged with involuntary manslaughter for the Oxford High School mass shooting but haven’t shown for their planned arraignment.

“The US Marshals have adopted the case of the search for James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of the accused Oxford HS (Mich.) shooter,” the agency wrote in a statement on Friday. “The USMS Detroit Fugitive Apprehension team is working in conjunction with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office on the search.”

WATCH: Chilling video shows students hiding in classroom as Oxford shooter tries to enter

00:30 , Josh Marcus

The Oxford High School mass shooting already claimed the lives of four people and injured seven—and it could’ve been even worse, a video captured by a student reveals.

The clip, posted on TikTok, shows students hiding out in a classroom, refusing to open the door for the alleged shooter, even though he claims he is the sheriff.

Community gathers outside hospital as Oxford shooting victim undergoes organ donation surgery

00:10 , Josh Marcus

A crowd of community members gathered outside the McClaren Hospital in Oxford, Michigan, on Friday in support of Justin Shillings, one of the four teens killed in the Oxford High School mass shooting earlier this week.

Mr Shillings is an organ donor, and the crowd was there to show their support for his family as the teen’s body was moved into surgery.

Journalist Allie Gross took a picture of the gathering, which she described as solemn and silent.

READ: Police issue ‘BOLO’ alert for fugitive Crumbley parents’ SUV

Friday 3 December 2021 23:50 , Josh Marcus

Police in Michigan, now officially aided by the FBI and the US Marshals Service, are on the hunt for Jennifer and James Crumbley.

Alleged Oxford school shooter Ethan Crumbley’s parents were charged today with four counts each of involuntary manslaughter each, but haven’t appeared for their scheduled arraignment.

As a result, authorities have labelled them fugitives and put out a Be On The Lookout (BOLO) alert for the pair and their Kia SUV, even though the couple’s lawyers insist they aren’t on the run.

What did school officials know about Ethan Crumbley before the shooting took place?

Friday 3 December 2021 23:30 , Josh Marcus

Before the tragic school shooting in Oxford, Michigan, school officials were aware Ethan Crumbley was displaying troubling behaviours in class, such as looking up information about ammunition and drawing images of graphic violence. They were so alarmed they even called Mr Crumbley’s parents into the school the day of the shooting for a meeting.However, the superintendent of Michigan’s Oxford Community Schools has said Ethan’s actions prior to the shooting weren’t enough to warrant discipline from the school, and that the 15-year-old alleged shooter didn’t have a record of misbehaviour.Read more in Shweta Sharma’s report.

Michigan school chief says suspect was not disciplined on morning of shooting

How rare are charges for parents of school shooters?

Friday 3 December 2021 23:10 , Josh Marcus

It is extremely rare for prosecutors to bring charges against the parents of school shooters, experts say.

A Washington Post analysis of 105 school shootings between 1999 and 2018 found that the guns used were taken from the shooters home - or that of a relative or friend - in 84 cases.

However, only four of those cases saw adult owners of the weapons face criminal charges.

In regards to the case against Jennifer and James Crumbley, NBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos told the outlet: “They have a clear path to a conviction, if they have the evidence.

“Does this herald a new era of holding parents responsible for homicides committed by their children? Maybe.”

Ethan Crumbley’s parents have missed their arraignment and are considered fugitives: officials

Friday 3 December 2021 22:50 , Josh Marcus

Ethan Crumbley’s parents, who were charged with involuntary manslaughter today for their alleged failure to stop the school shooting in Oxford, Michigan, are officially fugitives, according to Oakland County undersheriff Michael McCabe.

The pair, who purchased the gun for the 15-year-old and helped him learn to use it, were scheduled to be arraigned at 4:30 pm ET at the latest on their charges.

Now, a fugitive task force is searching for them.

The pair’s attorneys, however, have denied they’re on the run.

Attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman told The Independent earlier today:

“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 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.”

Victim Justin Shilling’s family releases statement

Friday 3 December 2021 22:20 , Megan Sheets

The family of Justin Shilling, a 17-year-old who died Wednesday from injuries sustained during the shooting, released the following statement on Friday:

“As the community we have loved and lived in reels from this tragedy we as a family have to mourn the loss of our son. Justin Charles who was so dear to our hearts was at the same time beloved of so many people in his school and his community. He was a Grandson, a brother, a cousin, a classmate, and without hesitation, a friend. The loss of Justin leaves such a gaping hole in our family that we cannot conceive of life without him. Our hearts are broken and yet still go out to the other families suffering this very same loss at this very same moment and which is beyond imagination, nothing any family should have to endure.

“As a family we would like to appeal to the public to keep the importance of what has been lost here in the forefront of our minds and the news. These are beautiful children’s lives, full of potential and with the expectation of so much more to come. Justin was a scholar, part of Oxford School Districts Baccalaureate program and a university scholarship awardee. He was a tireless worker with three jobs that he juggled along with his studies. He was lettered athlete and had bowled on the Oxford High School bowling team. His potential was boundless in life and yet in death he continues to give of himself as an organ doner. We feel the world can’t have too much of Justin.

“In closing we would just like to send our most sincere condolences to all the families involved in this tragedy and can say assuredly that we DO know your pain. And to the community thank you all for the out pouring of love and prayers. We can never express the gratitude we have in our hearts.”

Justin Shilling (Facebook)
Justin Shilling (Facebook)

ICYMI: The four students killed in shooting

Friday 3 December 2021 21:50 , Megan Sheets

A tight-knit community in Michigan is mourning the loss of four students allegedly killed by a classmate who opened fire indiscriminately in the halls of their high school.

Three students were confirmed dead hours after the shooting at Oxford High School on Tuesday: Tate Myre, 16; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; and 14-year-old Hana St Juliana.

A fourth student, 17-year-old Justin Shilling, succumbed to injuries in a hospital on Wednesday.

The Independent’s Alisha Rahaman Sarkar has more:

Oxford school shooting: The four teens shot dead at random by suspect Ethan Crumbley

Parents arraignment likely to be postponed

Friday 3 December 2021 21:30 , Megan Sheets

Jennifer and James Crumbley’s arraignment will likely be postponed as the court has closed for the day.

Court clerk Amy Luce told CNN if the couple were not in custody by 4.30pm ET, there would be no arraignment today.

If they are taken into custody later tonight or tomorrow they could be arraigned from the Oakland County Jail, Ms Luce said.

Parents’ lawyers deny they are on the run

Friday 3 December 2021 20:57 , Megan Sheets

Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley denied the couple are on the run as authorities seeking to serve them with search warrants said they were missing.

Attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman told The Independent:

“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 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.”

Cops ask for public’s help in locating parents

Friday 3 December 2021 20:55 , Megan Sheets

The Oakland County Sheriff’s office issued an alert asking the public for help in locating James and Jennifer Crumbley.

The alert featured new photos of the couple, who are believed to be driving a black 2021 Kia Seltos SUV with the Michigan license plate number DQG 5203.

“The action of fleeing and ignoring their attorney certainly adds weight to the charges. They cannot run from their part in this tragedy,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard said.

James and Jennifer Crumbley in photos released by the Oakland County Sheriff (Oakland County Sheriff’s Office)
James and Jennifer Crumbley in photos released by the Oakland County Sheriff (Oakland County Sheriff’s Office)

Sheriff says parents are trying to ‘flee'

Friday 3 December 2021 20:41 , Megan Sheets

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard shared his belief that James and Jennifer Crumbley are on the run as a fugitive team continued efforts to find the couple.

He told CNN their apparent lack of contact with their attorney indicates “their intent to flee”.

Mr Bouchard said the FBI and the US Marshal Service have joined the search, adding: “If they think they are going to get away with it, they are not.”

Parents’ attorney hasn’t heard from them

Friday 3 December 2021 20:28 , Megan Sheets

James and Jennifer Crumbley’s attorney, Shannon Smith, told police she hasn’t been able to reach them since charges were filed.

Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe said his team spoke to Ms Smith earlier on Friday.

“Their attorney had assured us that if a decision was made to charge them, she would produce them for arrest,” Mr McCabe said.

After the charges were approved by a judge, McCabe said: “Our last conversation with the attorney was that she had been trying to reach them by phone and text, and they were not responding.”

Fugitive team searching for James and Jennifer Crumbley

Friday 3 December 2021 20:09 , Megan Sheets

Oakland County’s Fugitive Apprehension team is reportedly searching for Jennifer and James Crumbley to arrest them on charges of involuntary manslaughter.

A judge signed off on the charges just after 12pm on Friday, after which authorities said they would perform arrests.

However, as of 3pm the parents have not been located and have stopped communicating with their attorney, The Detroit News reported.

Cops hunt for ‘missing’ parents of Oxford shooting suspect after manslaughter charge

Who are Ethan Crumbley’s parents?

Friday 3 December 2021 19:56 , Megan Sheets

Jennifer and James Crumbley were each charged with four counts of manslaughter on Friday, three days after their son Ethan allegedly carried out a deadly massacre at his school in Oxford, Michigan.

The Independent’s Josh Marcus explains what we know about the couple:

Everything we know about Ethan Crumbley’s parents, who were charged with manslaughter

Prosecutor: ‘I am angry'

Friday 3 December 2021 19:30 , Megan Sheets

Prosecutor Karen McDonald expressed anger at the fact that the Oxford High School shooting wasn’t prevented when announcing the charges against James and Jennifer Crumbley on Friday.

“I am angry. I’m angry as a mother, as the prosecutor, I’m angry as a person that lives in this county,” she said, noting that simple things could have been done to stop the tragedy.

“It’s impossible not to conclude that there was a reason to believe that [Ethan Crumbley] was going to hurt somebody.”

She continued: “We have great law enforcement and good training, but I said before, four kids were murdered and seven more injured. So yes, I think we should all be very angry and we should take a very hard look at what is in place in terms of criminal responsibility, what gun owners are required to do.”

“It’s your responsibility, it’s your duty to make sure that you don’t give access to this deadly weapon to somebody that you have reason to believe is going to harm someone.”

ICYMI: Red flags ignored prior to the shooting

Friday 3 December 2021 19:00 , Megan Sheets

As the tight-knit community of Oxford Township, Michigan, struggles to pick up the pieces from Tuesday’s deadly high school shooting, revelations about multiple red flags from the days prior are fuelling an impossible question: why wasn’t something done to prevent this?

Investigators reportedly uncovered a “mountain of evidence” showing suspect Ethan Crumbley plotted his attack well in advance, outlining plans in a journal and sharing his intentions in two videos filmed before the shooting.

His social media accounts were allegedly studded with menacing posts, including a photo of the handgun he used in his rampage and an apparent countdown warning: “Now I become death – destroyer of worlds – see you tomorrow Oxford.”

Teachers at Oxford High School raised concerns about the teen’s behaviour twice in the days leading up to the shooting, authorities say. The second time took place on the morning of the shooting, when Mr Crumbley’s parents met with him and administrators at the school.

Students and parents described a sense of unease on the campus in the weeks prior, saying that threats of a violence had been circulating for some time. The school acknowledged the rumours in a letter to parents in mid-November.

When pieced together, these details paint a picture that casts doubt on claims by school administrators and law enforcement that they had no prior knowledge of what would come to take place on Tuesday. The Independent’s Megan Sheets reports:

Ethan Crumbley: Red flags raised before Michigan school shooting spark scrutiny

EXPLAINED: The charges against James and Jennifer Crumbley

Friday 3 December 2021 18:34 , Megan Sheets

Ethan Crumbley’s parents James, 45, and Jennifer, 43, have each been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter for each of the four students killed in Tuesday’s shooting.

Prosecutor Karen McDonald noted that the charges are the strongest allowed under Michigan law.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s office moved to arrest the couple after a judge signed off on the charges midday Friday. They are scheduled to appear at an arraignment at 4pm.

The Independent’s Megan Sheets reports:

Ethan Crumbley’s parents charged with involuntary manslaughter

Parents’ actions were ‘criminal’, prosecutor says

Friday 3 December 2021 18:10 , Megan Sheets

Prosecutor Karen McDonald said James and Jennifer Crumbley’s failure to prevent Tuesday’s shooting is “criminal”.

“I have tremendous compassion and empathy for parents who have children who are struggling and at risk for whatever reason. And I am no means saying an active shooter situation should always result in a criminal prosecution against parents,” she said.

“But the facts of this case are so egregious, reading this document, looking at it, reading the words ‘help me, with a gun, blood everywhere,’ this doesn’t just have impact [on] me as a prosecutor and lawyer, it impacts me as a mother. The notion that a parent could read those words and also know their son had access to a deadly weapon, that they gave him, is unconscionable and I think it’s criminal. It is criminal.”

Ms McDonald said she brought the charges to send a message about the responsibility faced by gun owners.

“When they fail to uphold that responsibility, there are serious and criminal consequences,” she said. “As we work together to honour the lives lost and all of those impacted by the evil acts this week, justice for the victims and their families is at the forefront of today’s announcement.

“We need to do better in this country. We need to say enough is enough for our kids, our teachers, parents, for all of us in this community and the communities across this nation.”

Parents to be arraigned at 4pm Friday

Friday 3 December 2021 17:48 , Megan Sheets

James and Jennifer Crumbley are set to be arraigned at 4pm Friday on charges of involuntary manslaughter in connection with their son Ethan’s alleged shooting at Oxford High School.

Judge Julie Nicholson signed off on the charges presented just before noon by Lt Tim Willis, the head of the Oakland County Sheriff’s special investigations unit.

Mr Willis said authorities planned to arrest the parents after the charges were approved.

Charges against parents meant to ‘hold them accountable'

Friday 3 December 2021 17:32 , Megan Sheets

Prosecutor Karen McDonald said she was bringing charges against Ethan Crumbley’s parents because while he is the one who pulled the trigger, “there are other individuals who contributed to this”.

“It is my intention to hold them accountable,” she said at Friday’s press conference.

The prosecutor noted that the involuntary manslaughter charge is the strongest allowed under the law.

Ethan Crumbley was with his dad when gun was purchased

Friday 3 December 2021 17:30 , Megan Sheets

Prosecutor Karen McDonald said Ethan Crumbley went with his father James on Black Friday to purchase the semi-automatic handgun used in the shooting.

“James Crumbley purchased a Sig Sauer 9mm model SP 2022 from Acme Shooting Goods in Oxford, Michigan, on Nov. 26th, 2021. A store employee confirms that Ethan Crumbley was present with James at the time of the purchase,” she said.

Mr Crumbley later posted on social media about trying out his “new Christmas present”, referencing the gun.

Teachers’ concerns revealed

Friday 3 December 2021 17:25 , Megan Sheets

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald explained the two incidents that prompted teachers to raise alarms about Ethan Crumbley’s behaviour prior to the shooting.

On Monday, a teacher reportedly found Mr Crumbley searching for ammunition online. His parents were alerted, and his mother Jennifer allegedly texted him: “LOL I’m not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught.”

On Tuesday, a different teacher found on a note on Mr Crumbley’s desk which featured a drawing of a handgun and the words: “The thoughts won’t stop, help me.”

Mr Crumbley’s parents were called in as a result of the note, but fought to have him return to class, Ms McDonald said.

The Independent’s Graig Graziosi reports:

Michigan school shooting: Ethan Crumbley’s mom texted him ‘don’t do it’

Mother texted Ethan Crumbley ‘Don’t do it’ after hearing about shooting

Friday 3 December 2021 17:14 , Megan Sheets

Ethan Crumbley’s mother Jennifer texted him “Don’t do it, Ethan” after she heard reports of an active shooter at his school, authorities said Friday.

The message suggests the mother knew about her son’s plan to carry out the shooting.

When he heard the reports, the suspect’s father James called 911 to report a gun was missing, officials said.

The gun Mr Crumbley allegedly used had been stored in an unlocked drawer at the family’s home.

WATCH: Press conference on charges against parents

Friday 3 December 2021 16:58 , Megan Sheets

Ethan Crumbley’s parents charged with involuntary manslaughter

Friday 3 December 2021 16:46 , Megan Sheets

Ethan Crumbley’s parents have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the deadly shooting at Oxford High School.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald’s office filed the charges against James and Jennifer Crumbley, the Associated Press reported on Friday, three days after their 15-year-old son allegedly opened fire in the halls of school, killing four classmates and wounding seven others.

The Independent’s Megan Sheets reports:

Ethan Crumbley’s parents charged with involuntary manslaughter

Fake accounts posing as Ethan Crumbley proliferate online

Friday 3 December 2021 16:30 , Megan Sheets

Several social media accounts pretending to be suspect Ethan Crumbley have cropped up in the wake of Tuesday’s mass shooting in Michigan.

Mr Crumbley’s accounts were removed from public view shortly after his arrest at Oxford High School, only to be replaced by imposters posing as him in a bid to spread misinformation, police say.

It comes as dozens of high schools across Michigan have cancelled in-person classes this week due to “copycat threats” circulating online.

Michigan State Police Lt addressed the fake accounts on Thursday and acknowledged that the people behind them are not technically committing a crime.

“Unfortunately, poor taste is not against the law,” he told the Detroit Free Press.

The Independent’s Megan Sheets reports:

Michigan school shooting: Cops crack down on fake accounts in Ethan Crumbley’s name

Prosecutors expected to announce decision on charges against parents at noon

Friday 3 December 2021 16:06 , Megan Sheets

The Oakland County Prosecutor’s office is expected to announce its decision on whether Ethan Crumbley’s parents will face charges at a press conference at 12pm ET on Friday.

Authorities have not said if they believe the parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, knew their son had taken the handgun on the day of the shooting, but Prosecutor Karen McDonald said it appeared to have been “freely available” to him.

Under Michigan law, the parents of a child who violates firearm-related statutes on school property or in a school vehicle can be held criminally liable if the parent knew the child’s intentions or furthered their actions.

As for whether charges will be filed against the parents, Ms McDonald said on Wednesday: “We know that owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate and not allowing access to other individuals, particularly minors.

“We know that and we have to hold individuals accountable who don’t do that.”

Reminder: Who is Ethan Crumbley?

Friday 3 December 2021 15:40 , Megan Sheets

Ethan Crumbley, the suspected shooter from Tuesday’s attack at Oxford High School in Oxford Township, Michigan, was a 15-year-old sophomore at the school.

He was apprehended at the scene and appeared in court on Wednesday, facing charges of terrorism and first-degree murder on four counts.

Officials say the attack was premeditated and that his parents had meet school officials on the Monday and the morning before the shooting, over concerns for his behaviour.

The Independent’s Joe Sommerlad has the details.

Everything we know about Michigan shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley

Prosecutor calls Ethan Crumbley’s behaviour before shooting ‘hard to look at’

Friday 3 December 2021 15:10 , Megan Sheets

Ethan Crumbley was called into a meeting with school officials and his parents on Tuesday morning after a teacher reported “behaviour they felt was concerning”. A different teacher had raised nearly identical concerns the day before, after which Mr Crumbley received “counselling” from school officials, who left a call with his parents.

Details about the behaviour that prompted the concerns remain unclear, but they were serious enough for Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald to question why Mr Crumbley was allowed to return to class after Tuesday’s meeting.

“The event that caused the teacher concern and that had the school officials bring parents to school was - it’s hard to look at that, what was produced at that meeting, and everybody looked at, it’s very hard to look at that and say that there was no concern,” Ms McDonald told CNN on Thursday.

Mr Crumbley allegedly launched his deadly attack three hours after the meeting.

Meetings with parents were ‘important for us to know’, sheriff says

Friday 3 December 2021 14:42 , Gino Spocchia

“That’s obviously an important thing for us to know,” said Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard of two meetings between Oxford High School and the parents of the suspect, Ethan Crumbley.

Mr Bouchard told NewsNation on Thursday that he was aware of two meetings, on Monday and the morning before the attack on Tuesday. The meetings involved parents, the school, and the 15-year-old, who staff alleged was showing signs of “troubling” behaviour.

“That was never brought to our attention until after the shooting and that’s obviously an important thing for us to know, and we’re investigating more deeply into that”, said Mr Bouchard.

Sheriff says shooting video ‘bone chilling’

Friday 3 December 2021 14:12 , Gino Spocchia

Appearing on NewsNation on Thursday night, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said a video recorded by students during the shooting on Tuesday was “horrific” to watch.

“The panic and what was felt by the students and the teachers in that building as it was playing out was terrible,” Mr Bouchard said. “And what I saw on the video was chilling, even to somebody that’s been in this business as long as I have.”

He said looking at footage, including that from Oxford High School’s security cameras, was among the most difficult tasks he has done during his career, adding that many students and staff were “heroes”.

The chief of the school, Tim Throne, has meanwhile asked Mr Bouchard to release the footage amid criticism of the school for not disciplining the suspect, Ethan Crumbley, hours before the shooting.

Decision on charging parents due ‘in 24 hours’

Friday 3 December 2021 13:42 , Gino Spocchia

Jennifer and James Crumbley, the parents of the 15-year-old accused of carrying out Tuesday’s shooting at Oxford High School, are believed to be the subject of an announcement by Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald on Friday.

She said on Thursday that the parents, who investigators said bought a gun legally, had shown signs of “negligence” and that any decision to charge the pair would come by Friday, or “in the next 24 hours.”

Although there are laws covering a child’s access to guns, activists say such regulations are difficult to pursue and rarely followed, although some parents have found themselves subject to charges in the past, as The Associated Press reported.

Neither Mr or Ms Crumbley have commented publicly on the prosecutor’s claims.

Weapon ‘possibly’ in school bag, says prosecutor

Friday 3 December 2021 13:12 , Gino Spocchia

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald has said there was a “strong possibility” that 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley had the weapon allegedly used in Tuesday’s attack in his school bag.

Ms McDonald, in an interview with CNN, said it was “very” likely he had the weapon in his bag during a meeting with his parents at Oxford High School on Tuesday morning.

“I think that it’s already been public that he did have the weapon. During Covid, they don’t use lockers, so they just have backpacks,” Ms McDonald told Anderson Cooper.

Schools remain closed amid ‘not credible’ threats

Friday 3 December 2021 12:42 , Gino Spocchia

Threats to schools in the area around Oakland County were not credible, sheriff Mike Bouchard has said, as dozens of schools in southeastern Michigan remain closed for another day.

“If you’re making threats, we’re going to find you,” Mr Bouchard said threats that were reportedly circulating online. “It is ridiculous you’re inflaming the fears of parents, teachers in the community in the midst of a real tragedy.”

On Thursday, a teenager was arrested not far away from Oxford. in Flint, for making a false threat in a video recorded on a school bus, as The Associated Press reported.

Sheriff appears critical of school not disciplining Crumbley

Friday 3 December 2021 12:09 , Gino Spocchia

The Oakland County sheriff has appeared to criticise Oxford High School for not alerting him to what was allegedly unfolding in the classroom ahead of Tuesday’s fatal shooting.

Mike Bouchard, the sheriff, said on Thursday that “In light of where we are today, certainly we would have liked to have been part of that discussion and information.”

His remarks were an apparent reference to a meeting between Oxford High School and the accused’s parents, which was confirmed by Tim Throne, the school’s superintendent on Thursday.

Mr Throne said “discipline not warranted”.

Two teachers meanwhile told CNN that they alerted the school to both “concerning” and “disturbing” behaviour exhibited by the 15-year-old, Ethan Crumbley, in the 48 hours before the attack.

He allegedly received counselling the day before the shooting.

Michigan school chief says ‘discipline not warranted’ for suspect

Friday 3 December 2021 09:11 , Shweta Sharma

The superintendent of Michigan’s Oxford Community Schools has said the 15-year-old suspect in Tuesday’s mass shooting was not disciplined during a meeting in the school’s office earlier on the day of the killings.

“To say that I am still in shock and numb is probably an understatement. These events that have occurred will not define us,” a stoney-faced Mr Throne said.

The Independent’s Shweta Sharma has more details.

Michigan school chief says suspect was not disciplined on morning of shooting

A journal and a chilling ‘countdown’: What were the red flags around Michigan suspect Ethan Crumbley

Friday 3 December 2021 06:28 , Shweta Sharma

Revelations about suspect Ethan Crumbley’s menacing social media posts, confessional videos and ‘disturbing’ classroom behaviour have sparked a debate over whether more could have been done to prevent the deadly shooting at Oxford High School.

The Independent’s Megan Sheets has more details.

Ethan Crumbley: Red flags raised before Michigan school shooting spark scrutiny

‘Discipline not warranted’ in meeting before shooting, school chief says in first remarks

Friday 3 December 2021 05:35 , Shweta Sharma

In his first remarks following the tragedy, school superintendent Tim Throne has said that it was decided “no discipline was warranted” during a behavioural meeting with the suspect just hours before the shooting.

“To say that I am still in shock and numb is probably an understatement. These events that have occurred will not define us,” Mr Throne, leader of Oxford Community Schools, said in his first extended remarks since the incident.

His remarks came in a 12-minute video as he spoke slowly with a grim expression.

“I want you to know that there’s been a lot of talk about the student who was apprehended, that he was called up to the office and all that kind of stuff. No discipline was warranted,” Mr Throne said.

“There are no discipline records at the high school. Yes this student did have contact with our front office, and, yes, his parents were on campus [on] 30 November.”

Mr Throne lamented that Oxford High School looks like a “war zone” and won’t be ready for weeks. But he repeatedly lauded the students and staff for how they responded to the violence at the time of shooting.

“I want you to be as proud of your sons and daughters as I am,” Mr Throne said, adding that he also urged the sheriff’s office to publicly release the video of the students from Tuesday.

Mr Throne said he couldn’t immediately release additional details as sheriff Mike Bouchard has said Crumbley’s classroom behaviour on the day of the shooting was a matter for the investigation.

60 Michigan schools closed down after copycat threats

Friday 3 December 2021 05:05 , Shweta Sharma

About 60 schools in Michigan have been temporarily closed following copycat threats following the Oxford school shooting, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said, reported Newsweek.

Mr Bouchard said there were at least 100 instances of threats either direct or on social media across the state.But investigators believe that they were false copycat threats, as several students might have been doing it for fun or to get class cancelled.

“It is not [funny],” Mr Bouchard said. “It is a crime, and if you’re making threats, we will find you.”

“It is ridiculous you’re inflaming the fears of parents, teachers in the community in the midst of a real tragedy,” he added.

The sheriff complained that the false threats are “overrunning our resources” and stretching the local law enforcement thin.

Can parents be charged in shootings involving children?

Friday 3 December 2021 04:40 , Shweta Sharma

Prosecutors have suggested that the parents of the Oxford High School shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley, 15, could themselves be charged after the incident that left four students dead.

Experts say it is rare for parents to be charged in the US over school shootings involving their children, even in cases where a minor used their parents’ or relatives’ guns.

William Swor, a defence lawyer who is not involved in the case, told the Associated Press that charging the parents would require a “very fact-intensive investigation”.

“What did they know and when did they know it?” Mr Swor said. “What advance information did they have about all these things? Did they know anything about his attitude, things of that nature. You’re talking about a very heavy burden to bring on the parents.”

The child access prevention laws related to guns vary widely across US states and only just over half of them have such laws.

Gun control advocates say the laws are often not enforced and the penalties are weak.

“Our laws haven’t really adapted to the reality of school shootings and the closest we have are these child access prevention laws,” said Kris Brown, president of the Brady gun control advocacy group.

Ann Arbor schools cancel all classes after threats

Friday 3 December 2021 03:57 , Io Dodds

Ann Arbor has become the latest Michigan city to close public schools due to threats, with officials saying on Thursday night that all school buildings would be shut down.

"While these posts have not been determined to be credible at this time, the volume is quite high,” wrote city superintendent Jeanice Swift in an email to teachers and parents seen by All About Ann Arbor.

"Closing schools will allow school administrators and law enforcement an opportunity to investigate all reported concerns. It will also allow us to reset our learning environments that were significantly impacted today by rumors and concerns stemming from social media chatter."

She added that the FBI and the Michigan State Police are monitoring threats on social media, and asked parents to explain to their children how severely such threats are treated.

"Law enforcement and school leaders will investigate every threat and take whatever action is warranted to protect our students and community, up to and including prosecution for those responsible," she wrote.

‘Far beyond negligence’: Prosecutor doubles down on suspect’s parents

Friday 3 December 2021 03:42 , Shweta Sharma

As charges against the parents are expected to be announced on Friday, the prosecutor has repeated her criticism of the parents of the suspect, Ethan Crumbley, in the Michigan school shooting.

Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald told WJR-AM the parents’ actions went “far beyond negligence”.

“The parents were the only individuals in the position to know the access to weapons,” Ms McDonald said. The gun “seems to have been just freely available to that individual”.

The semi-automatic gun which was used for the shooting in the school was purchased legally by Mr Crumbley’s father last week, according to investigators.

Why prosecutors charged Ethan Crumbley with terrorism

Friday 3 December 2021 03:24 , Io Dodds

Why have Michigan prosecutors taken the unusual step of charging Ethan Crumbley with terrorism?

"It’s not a usual, a typical charge," Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald acknowledged on Wednesday during a news conference.

But, she said, the intent was to address how the shooting impacted people throughout the community who were not killed or injured, in the form of fear and trauma.

"What about all the children who ran, screaming, hiding under desks?" Ms McDonald said. "What about all the children at home right now who can’t eat and can’t sleep and can’t imagine a world where they could ever set foot back in that school?

"Those are victims, too, and so are their families, and so is the community. And the charge of terrorism reflects that."

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said he "100 per cent" agrees with the charge, saying: "If you weren’t hit by a bullet, it doesn’t mean you weren’t terrorized that day and won’t have nightmares about (it) the rest of your life – whether you’re a parent, a teacher or a student in that class."

The ability to levy such a charge is borne from Michigan’s controversial 2002 anti-terror act, passed in the aftermath of 9/11. Whereas most definitions of terrorism require some kind of political goal, Michigan’s defines it as a violent felony act "intended to intimidate or coerce" a civilian population or a government.

At the time, the American Civil Liberties Union urged Michigan’s legislature to limit the scope to "violent actions like those that occurred on September 11".

Former federal prosecutor Matthew Schneider told the Associated Press: “This is why we have this law. It’s for this type of case. This is not just a murder case. It’s going to terrorize a generation of these kids who were in the school. The impact is on thousands of people."

Mr Crumbley has pled not guilty to all charges.

Oxford shooting was America's deadliest since 2018

Friday 3 December 2021 03:00 , Io Dodds

The Oxford school shooting is America’s most lethal since 2018, when 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz murdered 17 people in Parkland, Florida in the country’s deadliest ever high school attack.

According to an analysis by the Detroit Free Press, 10 shootings have taken place in primary and secondary schools in Michigan since 2014, killing a total of six people and injuring 18.

Mark Bryant, executive director of the non-profit Gun Violence Archive, told the Free Press that more shootings were likely to happen as students begin to return to the classroom after more than a year of remote learning.

"I think that as we get back to the normalization of the school year... we’re going to continue to see more shootings," he said.

"It reflects the growing patterns that we’re seeing with adults: more guns available, more guns not secured, more guns sold on the streets and that equals more shootings."

University of Michigan footballers to honour slain students

Friday 3 December 2021 02:31 , Io Dodds

The University of Michigan’s football team will honour those killed in the Oxford school shooting during their next game on Saturday.

Michigan Wolverine players will wear a patch on their jerseys honouring Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Myre, Hana St Juliana, and Justin Shilling, the four students who died in the massacre.

The patch will also feature the letters "TM" and the player number "42" that were worn by Myre on his own football jersey during games for his school team.

"We are proud to represent the state of Michigan and all its communities," said the team on Thursday night.

Video shows shooting victim's football triumph

Friday 3 December 2021 01:23 , Io Dodds

Video footage has emerged showing 16-year-old shooting victim Tate Myre celebrating victory in an American football match against students from nearby Clarkston, Michigan.

The video clip, posted by Michigan high school football news site The D Zone, shows Myre drenched in sweat and fresh from a 38-28 win against the Clarkston Wolves last month.

Myre, who died of his wounds in a police car on the way to hospital, was a junior running back and a linebacker on the Oxford Wildcats team, described by peers as "a standout player".

"It feels great," says Myre in the video. "We haven’t been to playoffs since my freshman year? it just feels great. In the rain? this is where we live. Rain is just like Oxford football: tough, muddy – everything about us is tough.

"We started off the season rough... but we didn’t quit. We came back, we grinded, worked every day, we all trust each other, we all love each other, and we just started building there, week by week by week. And here we are."

Teenager in Flint charged with ‘copycat’ shooting threat

Friday 3 December 2021 00:47 , Io Dodds

A 17-year-old girl in Flint, Michigan has been charged with threatening to commit a school shooting after allegedly recording a "rap-style message" on her phone saying she would shoot up her school "like Oxford".

The girl, who is a student at Flint Southwestern Classical Academy, about 35 minutes' drive from Oxford High School, was charged as a juvenile with one count of false threat of terrorism and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.

Each of those offences would carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years for an adult.

"I'm not going to try to figure out whether this incident was intended to be a joke or whether it was a credible threat, but the bottom line is that it's a crime," said Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton.

"Michigan law specifically states that it is not a defence if the person did not have the intent or capability of following through on the threat...

"My message to our community has been loud and clear over the years whenever we have had so-called 'copycat threats' following a mass shooting... it is not a joke, it is a crime, and it will be treated as such."

Fundraiser for families of slain students tops $7,000

Thursday 2 December 2021 23:00 , Megan Sheets

Members of the Oxford community launched a GoFundMe campaign raising money for the families of the four victims killed in Tuesday’s shooting: Tate Myre, 16; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Hana St Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17.

The campaign has raised more than $7,000 toward its $90,000 goal as of Thursday afternoon.

Here’s what we know about the victims killed:

Oxford school shooting: The four teens shot dead at random by suspect Ethan Crumbley

What was Ethan Crumbley’s motive?

Thursday 2 December 2021 22:40 , Megan Sheets

Little is known about what motivated Ethan Crumbley to allegedly open fire in the halls of his high school.

The 15-year-old, who is presumed innocent until proven guilty, was arrested on Tuesday without resistance. Police say he has stayed silent about the incident so far, and asked for a lawyer soon after he was taken into custody.

“The next few days are going to be key to see what caused this individual to do this,” former FBI agent Andy Arena told Fox 2.

“What was he looking at, what was he searching, what was he reading? Those type of things. It will give us a clearer picture to see what was in his mind and what drove him to do this horrific act.”

Red flags around alleged shooter spark scrutiny

Thursday 2 December 2021 22:20 , Megan Sheets

As the tight-knit community of Oxford Township struggles to pick up the pieces from the deadly high school shooting, revelations about multiple red flags from the days prior are fuelling an impossible question: why wasn’t something done to prevent this?

Investigators reportedly uncovered a “mountain of evidence” showing suspect Ethan Crumbley allegedly plotted his attack well in advance, outlining plans in a journal and sharing his intentions in two videos filmed before the shooting.

His social media accounts were allegedly studded with menacing posts, including a photo of the handgun he used in his rampage and an apparent countdown warning: “Now I become death – destroyer of worlds – see you tomorrow Oxford.”

Teachers at Oxford High School raised concerns about the teen’s behaviour twice in the days leading up to the shooting, authorities say. The second time took place on the morning of the shooting, when Mr Crumbley’s parents met with him and administrators at the school.

Details about the behaviour that prompted those concerns remain unclear, but they were serious enough for Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald to question why Mr Crumbley was allowed to return to class after the meeting.

Students and parents described a sense of unease on the campus in the weeks prior, saying that threats of a violence had been circulating for some time. The school acknowledged the rumours in a letter to parents in mid-November.

When pieced together, these details paint a picture that casts doubt on claims by school administrators and law enforcement that they had no prior knowledge of what would come to take place on Tuesday. The Independent’s Megan Sheets reports:

Ethan Crumbley: Red flags raised before Michigan school shooting spark scrutiny

Decision on charges against parents expected in 24 hours

Thursday 2 December 2021 22:00 , Megan Sheets

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald on Thursday said she expects a decision on whether to charge Ethan Crumbley’s parents will be made within the next 24 hours.

Mr Crumbley is believed to have carried out Tuesday’s shooting at Oxford High School with a handgun his father purchased four days prior on Black Friday. Earlier on Thursday, Ms McDonald said the gun appeared to have been “freely available” to the suspect.

Addressing the possibility of charges against the parents on Wednesday, Ms McDonald said: “We know that owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate and not allowing access to other individuals, particularly minors. We know that and we have to hold individuals accountable who don’t do that.”

Ethan Crumbley to appear in court on 13 December

Thursday 2 December 2021 21:30 , Megan Sheets

Ethan Crumbley was arraigned on 24 charges on Tuesday at the Rochester Hills District Court. A judge ordered he be held without bond at the Oakland County Jail.

His next court appearance is scheduled for 13 December.

During that hearing, the judge will determine whether there is enough probably cause to support the charges against Mr Crumbley.

Democrats renew push for gun reform

Thursday 2 December 2021 20:57 , Megan Sheets

Democrats vowed Wednesday to push new gun-control legislation and to try to revive stalled bills in Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature following a mass shooting that left four high school students dead and others with serious injuries.

But GOP leaders, who have long opposed such measures and have favoured looser restrictions, did not immediately commit to policy changes.

“We can’t do nothing,” Sen. Rosemary Bayer, a Democrat whose district includes Oxford High School, told reporters after senators held a moment of silence for the dead. “We have to take action. Right this minute, today, I think I really, really want to focus on the families and … just trying to help them know that we’re here for them, that we’re supporting them in any way we can.”

Earlier this year, mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado reignited calls from gun-control advocates for tighter restrictions on buying firearms and ammunition. But with Democrats in control of the federal government, gun-rights advocates have been persuading Republican-run legislatures to go the other way, and make it easier to obtain and carry guns.

Democratic Gov Gretchen Whitmer, who opposes relaxing restrictions, said gun violence is a public health crisis. She called for unspecified “actions” beyond “thoughts and prayers” but did not elaborate. She has previously backed a measure that would let judges order the seizure of firearms from people who pose a significant risk to themselves or others.

- Associated Press

EXPLAINED: Terrorism charge against Ethan Crumbley

Thursday 2 December 2021 20:30 , Megan Sheets

Ethan Crumbley is facing 24 charges for Tuesday’s shooting - including one count of terrorism.

That count comes under Michigan’s 2002 anti-terrorism law, which was enacted in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and defines a terroristic act as one intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or to affect the conduct of a government through intimidation or coercion.

“It’s not a usual, a typical charge,” Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said of the charge at a press conference on Wednesday.

“What about all the children who ran, screaming, hiding under desks? What about all the children at home right now, who can’t eat and can’t sleep and can’t imagine a world where they could ever step foot back in that school?” she asked.

She added those students, their families and the community are victims of the violence as well and the terrorism charge reflects that.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said he “100 per cent” backs the terrorism charge against the accused.

“If you weren’t hit by a bullet, it doesn’t mean you weren’t terrorised that day and won’t have nightmares about (it) the rest of your life — whether you’re a parent, a teacher or a student in that class,” he said.

The charges against Ethan Crumbley

Thursday 2 December 2021 20:00 , Megan Sheets

Here are the charges prosecutors brought against Ethan Crumbley:

• One count of terrorism

• Four counts of first-degree murder

• Seven counts of assault with intent to murder

• 12 counts of possession of a firearm in commission of a crime

The most serious charge, first-degree murder, carries the possibility of life in prison.

ICYMI: The sexist truth about gun violence a lot of powerful people don’t want you to know

Thursday 2 December 2021 19:30 , Megan Sheets

As the nation ponders what led to the horrific shooting in Oxford, Michigan, it’s worth thinking about the big-picture trends in gun violence across America.

Earlier this year, The Independent’s Carli Pierson penned a powerful Voices piece on the under-reported gender dynamics in many mass shootings.

In it, she describes, how according to Everytown Research & Policy, in more than half of mass shootings over the past ten years, the perpetrator shot a current or former intimate partner or family member in their murderous frenzy. Every month, about 57 women are shot and killed in an act of domestic violence in the United States. A million women alive today have reported being shot, or shot at, by their partners, former partners or a family member and 4.5 million women have reported being threatened with a gun by an intimate partner.

The sexist truth about gun violence a lot of powerful people don’t want you to know | Carli Pierson

Prosecutor describes shocking surveillance footage of shooting

Thursday 2 December 2021 19:00 , Megan Sheets

Surveillance video of Tuesday’s shooting left a prosecutor speechless at Ethan Crumbley’s arraignment on Tuesday.

The footage - which has not been released publicly - purportedly showed Mr Crumbley exiting a bathroom and opening fire “methodically” at passing students.

“What’s depicted on that video, honestly, judge, I don’t have the words to describe how horrific that was,” Assistant Prosecutor Marc Keast said in court.

“He deliberately aimed the gun at students and began firing at students. After students started running he continued down the hallway pointing the gun and firing [at them] and firing in classrooms and at students who were unable to escape.”

Teen arrested for bringing gun to school near Oxford

Thursday 2 December 2021 18:40 , Megan Sheets

A 17-year-old student was arrested on Wednesday for bringing a gun to his school about 30 miles south of Oxford, police said.

Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barren announced the arrest on Thursday, saying: “We’ve submitted a warrant request to the prosecutor’s office seeking a charge of carrying a concealed weapon.”

He said the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office, which is also handling Ethan Crumbley’s case, has not decided whether to charge the teen as a minor or an adult.

It comes as dozens of schools around the state have been forced to cancel in-person classes due to “copycat” threats following the Oxford High School shooting on Tuesday.

ICYMI: Ethan Crumbley appears in court

Thursday 2 December 2021 17:50 , Megan Sheets

Ethan Crumbley appeared at his arraignment via video from a juvenile detention centre on Wednesday.

Dressed in what appeared to be a safety vest, Mr Crumbley spoke only twice to confirm that he understood the charges against him and his right to remain silent.

Watch the hearing below:

Ethan Crumbley ‘plotted attack in a journal’, cops say

Thursday 2 December 2021 17:20 , Megan Sheets

Ethan Crumbley reportedly outlined his plans for the shooting in a journal and in two videos posted online the night before, prosecutors say.

The journal was among the “mountain of evidence” seized on Tuesday as investigators sought to determine his motive.

Mr Crumbley also allegedly posted a “countdown” to the attack on social media on Monday night, writing: “Now I become death -- destroyer of worlds -- see you tomorrow Oxford.”

Prosecutors cited the evidence as support for first-degree murder charges, which require proof of premeditation.

READ: Charging documents against Ethan Crumbley

Thursday 2 December 2021 16:55 , Megan Sheets

Prosecutors filed 24 charges against Ethan Crumbley on Wednesday, including one count of terrorism, four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of assault with intent to murder.

Read the charges below:

Three injured victims remain hospitalised

Thursday 2 December 2021 16:35 , Megan Sheets

As of Wednesday night, three victims injured in the Oxford High School shooting remained in the hospital while the remaining four recovered at home.

Those still in the hospital include a 17-year-old girl in critical condition after suffering being shot in the chest, a 14-year-old girl in stable condition with gunshot wounds to the neck and chest, and a 17-year-old girl in stable condition with a gunshot wound to the neck.

Three students aged 14, 15 and 17, and a 47-year-old teacher, have been discharged from the hospital to recover at home.

The names of the injured victims were disclosed in charging documents: Phoebe Arthur, John Asciutto, Riley Franz, Elijah Mueller, Kylie Ossenge, Aiden Watson and Molly Darnell.

GoFundMe campaign launched for families of slain students

Thursday 2 December 2021 16:15 , Megan Sheets

Members of the Oxford community launched a GoFundMe campaign raising money for the families of the four victims killed in Tuesday’s shooting: Tate Myre, 16; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Hana St Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17.

The campaign has raised more than $6,600 toward its $90,000 goal as of Thursday morning.

Here’s what we know about the victims killed:

Oxford school shooting: The four teens shot dead at random by suspect Ethan Crumbley

Dozens of schools cancel classes over threats

Thursday 2 December 2021 15:55 , Megan Sheets

Around 60 schools in Michigan have cancelled in-person classes this week due to threats in the wake of the shooting in Oxford.

The cancellations have affected some of the state’s largest school districts, including in Rochester, Troy and Clarkston.

In Macomb County, northeast of Detroit, Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said his office received 28 complaints about threats to schools in a 24-hour period.

“What we’re finding is there’s two ways [that threats] are happening,” Mr Wickersham told FOX 2 Detroit. “One is everybody is aware of what happened and is believing that it could happen in their school and they’re thinking about a moment when somebody may have said something off-colour, may have made a remark about hurting somebody, and they’re now reporting those [threats].”

The sheriff said it’s not uncommon for copycat threats to follow an incident like that which occurred at Oxford High School on Tuesday. However, he emphasised the importance of taking each threat seriously.

RECAP: Everything we know about the shooting and the suspect

Thursday 2 December 2021 15:29 , Megan Sheets

Four students were killed and at least eight others injured in a mass shooting at a suburban high school in Michigan on Tuesday afternoon.

The suspected shooter, 15-year-old sophomore Ethan Crumbley, was taken into custody by police in response to the incident at Oxford High School in Oxford Township, a community of 22,000 people 30 miles north of Detroit, and a semi-automatic handgun was recovered.

On Wednesday Mr Crumbley appeared virtually in court to hear charges of terrorism and first degree murder, to which he pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors accused him of “methodically and deliberately” firing on his fellow students.

The teenager was charged as an adult with one count of terrorism, 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. Taken together, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole if he is found guilty.

The Independent’s Joe Sommerlad explains everything we know about the tragedy so far:

Everything we know about the Oxford High School shooting

Ethan Crumbley’s half-brother shares disbelief at shooting

Thursday 2 December 2021 15:00 , Megan Sheets

Ethan Crumbley’s older half-brother has revealed his disbelief at the Oxford High School shooting allegedly carried out by his sibling, whom he says never showed any violent tendencies.

“The Ethan I knew was just a smart boy who just seemed like an average kid. There was nothing that ever stood out to me,” the half-brother, Eli Crumbley, told the Daily Mail on Wednesday.

Eli, 18, and Ethan, 15, share the same father. They grew up in Florida before moving to Michigan a few years ago with their father’s second wife, who is Ethan’s mother. Eli moved back to Florida last March.

He said he hadn’t spoken to Ethan or his father for about two months before the shooting on Tuesday. That night, he tried to reach his father before learning that the FBI was at his home and his brother was the suspect.

“I was worried, I wanted to see if Ethan was okay because I knew he went there,” said Eli, who also attended the school for a year. “And then that’s when I was receiving information otherwise.”

Prosecutor cites ‘disturbing’ evidence against Ethan Crumbley

Thursday 2 December 2021 14:41 , Megan Sheets

Prosecutor Karen McDonald emphasised a “disturbing” and “troubling” piece of evidence against Ethan Crumbley at a press conference on Wednesday, but said it cannot be made public yet.

Ms McDonald said the 24 charges facing Mr Crumbley are based on a “mountain of digital evidence”, including “an additional piece of evidence that hasn’t been released yet”.

“I can assure you it was troubling. It was disturbing and unfortunately he was allowed to go back to class,” Ms McDonald said, as reported by ClickOnDetroit.

The Independent’s Gino Spocchia reports:

Unreleased evidence against Oxford shooter reportedly ‘disturbing’

Will Ethan Crumbley’s parents face charges?

Thursday 2 December 2021 14:25 , Megan Sheets

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald on Wednesday said her office is weighing the possibility of charges against Ethan Crumbley’s parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley.

Mr Crumbley is believed to have carried out Tuesday’s shooting at Oxford High School with a handgun his father purchased four days prior on Black Friday. Authorities were seen seizing a cache of firearms, including what appeared to be long guns, from the family’s home on Tuesday night.

Ms McDonald declined to say whether the handgun was given to Mr Crumbley by his parents, or if he took it without permission.

Under Michigan law, the parents of a child who violates firearm-related statutes on school property or in a school vehicle can be held criminally liable if the parent knew the child’s intentions or furthered their actions.

At Wednesday’s press conference, Ms McDonald said her office will confirm whether there will be charges against Mr Crumbley’s parents “shortly”.

She added: “However, we know that owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate and not allowing access to other individuals, particularly minors. We know that and we have to hold individuals accountable who don’t do that.”

The Independent’s Gustaf Kilander reports:

Ethan Crumbley’s parents may be charged in Oxford school shooting

School closures 'out of an abundance of caution’

Thursday 2 December 2021 14:05 , Gino Spocchia

Schools across Oakland County are continuing to respond to the shooting at Oxford High School on Tuesday, with as many as 14 announcing closures, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Pat Watson, the head of Bloomfield Hills Schools, reportedly told parents that his schools “and other communities across the region have received numerous reports of threats of violence circulating on social media.”

He said his schools would close on Thursday “out of an abundance of caution.”

Students at Holly Area Schools will also remain at home on Thursday as well as Friday, according to a statement.

It follows concerns that warnings of a shooting at Oxford High School were circulated online in the hours before Tuesday’s fatal attack, in which four people were killed.

Hockey star pays tribute to hometown

Thursday 2 December 2021 13:40 , Gino Spocchia

Josh Norris, another Oxford-born sports figure, has spoken about the school shooting in his hometown after the deaths of four people.

He said on Wednesday: “You never really think something like this is going to happen in your hometown.”

“Thinking of just what some of those kids went through, the parents of those kids. It’s really difficult. All I can do is send my thoughts and my love. I’m proud to be from there. It’s such an unfortunate situation.”

The forward for the Ottawa Senators, a National Hockey League side, was seen wearing a “Oxford” badge on his jacket before taking on the Vancouver Canucks.

Oxford-born NFL star says victim was ‘a beaming light’

Thursday 2 December 2021 13:15 , Gino Spocchia

Former American football fullback and Minnesotsa Vikings star, Zach Line, has been among those to pay tribute to Tate Myer, who was among four victims of Tuesday’s shooting.

The 16-year-old college footballer was killed allegedly while trying to disarm the Oxford High School shooter, who was identified as Ethan Crumbley. He has pleaded not guilty.

Myer, according to the Oxford-born Mr Line, was “a beaming light for Oxford”.

Shooter had made violent drawings, report says

Thursday 2 December 2021 12:50 , Gino Spocchia

Officials in Oakland County have detailed some of the evidence against 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, who was charged on Wednesday for the shooting at Oxford High School.

According to Fox 2 Detroit, the student wrote hours before the attack: “Now I become death – destroyer of worlds – see you tomorrow Oxford”, in remarks that were allegedly shared online, along with a photo of a weapon.

It follows revelations that his parents were summoned to meet with school officials “for behaviour in the classroom that was concerning,” on Tuesday, as sheriff Mike Bouchard told reporters.

Fox 2 Detroit were informed that a second meeting took place on Monday and was concerning an incident, while Tuesday’s meeting was regarding violent drawings allegedly made by Mr Crumbley. That remains unconfirmed.

The Independent’s Nathan Place has the details.

Michigan suspect posted ominous messages before shooting, reports say

Shooting ‘was not just an impulsive act’, officials say

Thursday 2 December 2021 12:25 , Gino Spocchia

Ethan Crumbley was charged on Wednesday as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder and terrorism for the shooting at Oxford High School in Oakland County on Tuesday.

Officials also charged the 15-year-old for seven counts of assault with intent to murder, 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

No motive was offered. But prosecutor Karen McDonald said the shooting was premeditated, based on a “mountain of digital evidence” against Mr Crumbley, as The Associated Press reported.

Investigators found a video he allegedly recorded the night before the attack in which he discussed fellow classmates, in what officials have said “was not just an impulsive act”.

During his arraignment, Mr Crumbley replied, “Yes, I do” when asked if he understood the charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

Parents were summoned to school before shooting

Thursday 2 December 2021 12:00 , Gino Spocchia

The parents of 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley were reportedly summoned to discuss his “concerning” behaviour just a few hours before the shooting at Oxford High School, the sheriff for Oakland County has said.

Sheriff Mike Bouchard told reporters that had not worried school officials, and that investigators believe the gun was already in the 1,700-student school before four people were killed and others injured, as The Associated Press reported.

Mr Crumbley’s parents have meanwhile been described by an Oakland County prosecutor as “difficult”, following the naming of the suspect from Tuesday’s fatal school shooting.

Prosecutor Karan McDonald said to Fox2 News that initial conversations had been challenging and that charges could be filed against the pair because “owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate”.

Governor calls shooting a ‘public health crisis’

Thursday 2 December 2021 11:35 , Gino Spocchia

Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a video message on Wednesday that the Oxford high school shooting was “every student’s, teacher’s and parent’s worst nightmare”, after flags were lowered across the state in memory of four students who died in the attack.

Ms Whitmer asked for all Michiganders to “wrap our arms around this town, that’s going through unimaginable pain and heartbreak”, and that people needed to “protect each other from the gun violence public health crisis that we all face Americans”.

Michigan shooting: Students want to rename stadium after ‘hero’ footballer killed trying to disarm shooter

Thursday 2 December 2021 11:12 , Eleanor Sly

A college footballer has been hailed a “hero” by teammates and members of the community in Oxford Township, Michigan, after his death trying to disarm a school shooter.

Tate Myre, one of four students fatally shot on Tuesday, was reportedly killed while trying to disarm 15-year-old suspect Ethan Crumbley.

A former teammate of Myer’s on the Oxford High School’s football team, Drake Biggie, was among dozens calling for the stadium to be renamed in the 16-year-old’s honour.

Gino Spocchia has more here:

Petition to rename stadium after footballer killed trying to disarm Michigan shooter

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website

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