Ethan Crumbley, 15, is being charged as an adult with two dozen crimes in the shooting
The mother of accused school shooter Ethan Crumbley wrote a rambling open letter to Donald Trump in 2016 praising his support for gun rights, and now both she and her husband are facing criminal charges in the shooting.
‘As a female and a Realtor, thank you for allowing my right to bear arms,’ wrote mother Jennifer Crumbley, 43, in the November 11, 2016 blog post days after Trump was elected.
‘Allowing me to be protected if I show a home to someone with bad intentions. Thank you for respecting that Amendment,’ she continued, apparently referring to the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, which protects the right to keep and bear arms.
Now both Jennifer and her husband James Crumbley face potential charges after a prosecutor said Thursday their actions went ‘far beyond negligence’ and that the gun used in the school shooting ‘seems to have been just freely available’ to the teenager.
Ethan Crumbley, 15, has been charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder and terrorism, for a shooting Tuesday at Oxford High School in Oakland County, roughly 30 miles north of Detroit.
Jennifer Crumbley, left, wrote an open letter to Trump in 2016. She is pictured with her husband, James, and both parents now face potential criminal charges over the gun
In the long-winded open letter on her blog, Jennifer praised Trump’s support of gun rights, and blamed her son’s academic struggles on Common Core
Four students were killed and seven more people were injured in the shooting, including a student who remained in critical condition.
‘All I can say at this point is those actions on mom and dad´s behalf go far beyond negligence,’ Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said. ‘We obviously are prosecuting the shooter to the fullest extent. … There are other individuals who should be held accountable.’
The 9mm semi-automatic Sig Sauer handgun used in the shooting was purchased by Crumbley’s father last week, and the teen showed it off in Instagram posts, according to investigators.
‘The parents were the only individuals in the position to know the access to weapons,’ McDonald told WJR-AM. The gun ‘seems to have been just freely available to that individual.’
McDonald said she hopes to have an announcement regarding charges against Crumbley’s parents within 24 hours.
On Monday, she acknowledged that charges were being considered, saying ‘Owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate.’
In Jennifer’s 2016 open letter to Trump, she also spoke of her son’s struggles with math in school, appearing to blame Common Core and illegal immigration.
‘Allowing me to be protected if I show a home to someone with bad intentions. Thank you for respecting that Amendment,’ Jennifer told Trump in the letter
‘You see Mr. Trump, I need you to stop Common Core,’ Jennifer wrote, noting: ‘My son struggles daily and my teachers tell me they hate teaching it but the[y] have to. Their pay depends on these stupid f***ing test scores.
‘I have to pay for a tutor, why?’ she continued, ‘because I can’t figure out fourth-grade math.
‘I used to be good at math,’ Jennifer noted, adding that she cannot afford a tutor for her son and ‘in fact, I sacrifice car insurance to make sure my son gets a good education and hopefully succeeds in life.’
At that point, Jennifer started complaining about ‘illegal immigrant parents’ and their children at a school where her mom teaches.
‘Most of their parents are locked up,’ Jennifer wrote. ‘They don’t care about learning and threaten to kill my mom for caring about their grades.’
‘Do you realize Mr. Trump that they get free tutors, free tablets from our government so they can succeed?’ she continued. ‘Why can’t my son get those things, do we as hard-working Americans not deserve that too.’
She concluded her rambling letter by saying: ‘Mr. Trump this is why I voted for you.
‘I see the change that we so desperately need. I see jobs coming back, people having to work for their handouts, money going to [those] who really deserve it.
‘I believe YOU are the president who will make these things happen.
‘I have NEVER had this much belief in one person,’ she noted, ‘and you are it.’
Jennifer signed the long-winded letter ‘A hardworking Middle Class Law Abiding Citizen who is sick of getting f***** in the a** and would rather be grabbed by the p****,’ a nod to the former president’s now infamous line about being famous.
The Sun reports that the letter was later shared to Facebook by her husband, James, who commented: ‘My wife can be spot on. Sometimes.’
Madisyn Baldwin, 17, (left) and Hana St Juliana, 14, (right) died in Tuesday’s shooting rampage at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit
Justin Shilling, 17, (left) died in the hospital on Wednesday morning and Tate Myre (right) died as deputies raced him to a hospital on Tuesday
But now, five years later, the couple is exercising their right to remain silent as their they potentially join their son in facing charges in the school shooting.
Sheriff Mike Bouchard disclosed Wednesday that the parents met with school officials about their son’s classroom behavior, just a few hours before the shooting.
McDonald said information about what had troubled the school ‘will most likely come to light soon.’
Crumbley stayed in school Tuesday and later emerged from a bathroom with a gun, firing at students in the hallway, police said.
‘I just can’t get to a space right now to blame anybody who worked at that school. They were terrorized,’ McDonald said.
‘Should there have been different decisions made?’ she said when asked about keeping the teen in school. ‘Probably they will come to that conclusion. … Again, I have not seen anything that would make me think that there’s criminal culpability. It’s a terrible, terrible tragedy.’
The Oxford school district hasn’t commented on the meeting with Crumbley’s parents before the shooting.
William Swor, a defense lawyer who is not involved in the case, told the AP that charging the parents would require a ‘very fact-intensive investigation.’
‘What did they know and when did they know it?’ 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.’
Parents are rarely charged in school shootings involving their children, even as most minors get guns from a parent or relative´s house, according to experts.
Just over half of U.S. states have child access prevention laws related to guns, but they vary widely. 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.
Swarms of police officers swooped in and arrested the suspected gunman within five minutes
Deputies rushed to the school around 12:50pm on Tuesday as more than 100 calls flooded 911 dispatchers with reports of a shooter. They arrested the gunman, 15, in a hallway within minutes of their arrival with the help of an on-scene school resource officer.
The sophomore student put his hands in the air as deputies approached, police said.
Authorities claim Crumbley, now 15, fired 30 rounds at the school – emptying two 15-round magazines. A third was found on school property, and he reportedly had more in his pockets.
He reportedly shot his victims at close range, wounding them in the cheeks, jaws, shoulders and necks, after opening fire in the hallways of the school.
A video of the attack, according to assistant Prosecutor Marc Keast, showed Crumbley enter a bathroom at the school with a backpack before he emerged with a gun.
‘At that point, 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,’ he claimed.
Video posted to social media also appeared to show Crumbley trying to convince would-be victims that it was safe to emerge from hiding as he roamed through the halls of the high school.
‘Sheriff’s office,’ the boy says. ‘You can come out.’
Students exchange glances as one whispers ‘he said it’s safe to come out.’
But the teacher responds: ‘We’re not taking that risk. The gunman shouts back something inaudible before calling his classmate ‘bro’ and in that sickening moment, classmates began jumping out a window, realizing the self-professed cop was actually the shooter.
Four students were killed in the shooting, including Tate Myre, 16, Hana St Juliana, 14, and 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin. Justin Shilling, 17, succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday morning.
The school remains roped off to the public. The shooting unfolded at 12.50pm on Tuesday
A gunman who shot four teenagers dead and injured eight others – including a teacher – tried to coax more students out of hiding by claiming he was a sheriff and announcing that it was safe to come out
The motive behind the deadly school shooting remains unclear, but students say Ethan had been bullied at Oxford High School, although police have said there is no record of the teenager being bullied.
On Wednesday, prosecutors announced that the 15-year-old will be charged as an adult with four counts of murder and domestic terror among a total of 24 charges.
They are charging him as an adult so that he may be convicted and sentenced to life in prison, as Oakland County Prosecutor Karen D. McDonald said at a press conference that there was a ‘mountain’ of evidence against Crumbley so far.
Prosecutors revealed at the arraignment that he had detailed in a journal found in his backpack how he wanted to shoot students at the school. And, they announced, on the eve of the killings, Crumbley had recorded a video saying he was planning to launch an attack at the school the next day
Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard also revealed that Crumbley had met with his parents and teachers to discuss his ‘behavior’, just three hours before he allegedly went on the deadly shooting spree Tuesday.
At 10am that morning, his mother and father Jennifer and James were called into Oxford High School for a meeting with teachers about Ethan’s behavior.
It’s unclear what prompted the meeting, but it was the second time Ethan had been called in in two days. On Monday, the teenager met with teachers alone.
But in the days before Tuesday’s attack, Crumbley posted on Instagram to boast about his father’s new Sig Sauer 9mm handgun, pretending it was his.
‘Just got my new beauty today. SIG Sauer 9MM. Ask any questions I will answer,’ he wrote in a post last week on an Instagram account that has now been deleted. Other fake accounts were circulating online on Wednesday morning as Crumbley remained in police custody, refusing to cooperate with investigators.
Crumbley, 15, is shown in custody on Wednesday at his Zoom arraignment. He is being charged as an adult with four counts of murder, one count of terrorism and 19 other charges
Crumbley’s father James, who owns the gun he used in the attack, and his mother Jennifer are pictured on Zoom attending the arraignment
His parents, James and Jennifer, have since hired him an attorney who has advised him to plead the fifth.
Neither of the shooter’s parents have commented yet. His father, James, works for Autonomous Inc, an office software supply company. He is understood to have purchased the weapon that his son used just four days ago.
‘He had been shooting with it and posted pictures of a target and the weapon. That’s all part of what’s being looked at. We’re going to do a deep dive on the social media and all the activities of this young man,’ Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said during a Tuesday night press conference.
Authorities were also made aware of posts on social media that said there had been threats of a shooting at the roughly 1,700-student school, but Bouchard said they did not know about the rumors until after the attack.
EXCLUSIVE: ‘Nothing ever seemed off.’ Ethan Crumbley’s older brother, 18, says the school shooting suspect, 15, was an ‘average, happy kid’, got good grades, was into Minecraft and WASN’T bullied as a child
Speaking exclusively with DailyMail.com, Eli Crumbley, 18, said he can’t understand how his own sibling could suddenly snap, open fire, and kill his classmates, following the deadly rampage in Oxford, Michigan on Tuesday.
‘The Ethan I knew was just a smart boy who just seemed like an average kid,’ he said in an interview on Wednesday. ‘There was nothing that ever stood out to me. He’d never get suspended from school, or detention.
‘He didn’t suffer depression or anything like that. He woke up happy, went to school, came home and played games.’
Eli and Ethan, 15, have the same father, but different mothers. Originally from Florida, the two boys later moved to Michigan with their dad James Crumbley and his second wife, Ethan’s mom, Jennifer.
Eli, 18, (left) and Ethan, 15, (right) have the same father, but different mothers. The two boys grew up in Florida but later moved to Michigan with their dad James Crumbley and his second wife, Ethan’s mom, Jennifer
The older brother hinted at some family turmoil that prompted him to abruptly move out last March, to live with his biological mother in Florida where he grew up.
‘It mostly had to do with the relationship between my stepmother and I,’ Eli said. He wouldn’t elaborate other than to say: ‘It wasn’t as great as it could be. Moving back to Florida was the best option for me.
Ethan remained living with his parents in a small home in Oxford, less than two miles from where he opened fire.
Eli said he hadn’t spoken with Ethan or his father in two months but reached out to his dad Tuesday night only after hearing the news of a mass shooting at Oxford High School.
‘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.’
Unable to reach his dad, the 18-year-old called a former employer who told him that his old house in Oxford was surrounded by FBI agents.
He then learned that his own father bought the gun that Ethan used.
‘I didn’t know he had a gun till after this happened,’ he said. ‘It’s still hard to believe,’ he said. ‘I can’t believe it.’
‘As far as I knew, Ethan was always good,’ Eli added. ‘He was just quiet, kept to himself, kept his circle of friends small. He was a clean kid, didn’t smoke or do drugs, nothing.’
‘And he got good grades,’ Eli said. ‘He wanted to be an archaeologist.’
‘When I was living there, nothing seemed off, ‘ he continued. ‘We’d just walk to the bus stop in the morning, go to school, come home, maybe play some football outside or basketball. We’d just chill, wouldn’t do much.’
Ethan was on the bowling and soccer teams in middle school, he said, but didn’t play team sports in high school.
He said his brother’s biggest hobby was video games, which he’d play at night. His favorite was Minecraft.
Asked whether he knew of any other problems Ethan was experiencing, Eli noted that they had an aunt who died a couple months ago and that Ethan recently also lost his pet dog, Tank.
‘I really don’t know what his reasoning was behind this,’ Eli said.
He was surprised to hear that bullying may have been a factor. Ethan wasn’t ever bullied as a child, according to Eli.
‘I would like to talk to him,’ he said, ‘but I don’t think that’s something that’s going to happen for a while.’