James Crumbley is the father of Oxford High School shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley and bought the gun used in the shooting just four days before the November 30, 2021, incident in Michigan, officials said.
James Crumbley and his wife, Jennifer Crumbley, are both facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection to the shooting, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced at a press conference on Friday, December 3, 2021. McDonald said the 15-year-old’s parents bought the gun on Black Friday for their son as a Christmas present and laughed off warning signs reported to them by the school on the day before and the day of the shooting.
James and Jennifer Crumbley were arrested by U.S. Marshalls following a manhunt Friday, and the couple pleaded not guilty to their charges. James, Jennifer and Ethan Crumbley are all lodged in the same jail now, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said during a news conference Saturday, December 4, 2021, but each of them is in isolation.
“No talking,” Bouchard said during the news conference. “No interaction.”
Crumbley, 45, works as an account executive at an office supply company in the Detroit area, his now-deleted LinkedIn page said. His Facebook page, which was also made private or deleted said he previously worked as a business development executive.
He appeared over video with his wife to watch their son’s arraignment Wednesday afternoon, December 1, 2021. Both parents had their lips pursed, and they both wore hats partially obscuring their faces. James Crumbley’s lips were quivering after he introduced himself to Judge Nancy T. Carniak.
McDonald announced in a press conference Wednesday afternoon that Ethan Crumbley is being charged as an adult with four counts of first-degree murder, one count of terrorism, seven counts of assault with intent to murder and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. His arraignment was scheduled for December 1, and the office of the prosecutor said they expect to file additional charges.
The deceased victims were identified after the shooting as 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana and 16-year-old Tate Myre, officials said. A fourth victim, 17-year-old Justin Shilling, died a day after the shooting.
Here’s what you need to know about James Crumbley, Ethan Crumbley’s father:
1. Ethan Crumbley Posted Videos & Photos With the Handgun After His Father Bought It, the Sheriff Said
Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said at a press conference the night of the shooting that Ethan Crumbley’s father purchased the gun, a 9mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 pistol, on Friday, November 26, 2021, four days before police say the 15-year-old Crumbley used the gun to kill four students and injure six other students and a teacher. The teen had two or three 15-round magazines with him, Bouchard said.
Bouchard said Ethan Crumbley brought the gun to the school in his backpack. When asked if investigators knew why the elder Crumbley had bought the gun, Bouchard told reporters, “As I said, they’re not talking to us.” Authorities have said Crumbley’s parents have hired an attorney for him and did not allow police to speak to their son after the shooting. Michigan law requires parental permission to speak to a minor during a criminal investigation, Bouchard said.
Bouchard confirmed that Ethan Crumbley posted images and videos with the gun on Instagram before the shooting. The sheriff said, “It was a recent weapon purchase that he had been shooting with it and had 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 in the social media and all the activities of this young man.”
2. The County Prosecutor Said She Would Hold Irresponsible Gun Owners Accountable & Charged the Suspect’s Parents Just Days Later
McDonald said in a Wednesday afternoon press conference that the responsibilities of gun owners involve securing the firearm safely, keeping it separate from ammunition and keeping it out of the hands of minors.
“We have to hold individuals accountable who don’t do that,” she said.
“There is a mountain of digital evidence,” she said, adding she is confident prosecutors will be able to prove that Ethan Crumbley’s actions were premeditated.
McDonald said, “To prevent further tragedies like the one we witnessed yesterday and at large, we have got to address responsible gun ownership in this country and in Oakland County. Responsible gun ownership, including the security of a gun, is an absolute imperative to protect our community today and in the future. And those who do not do that should be and will be held accountable.”
3. James Crumbley & His Wife Were Called to Their Son’s School for a Meeting the Morning of the Shooting, the Sheriff Said
James and Jennifer Crumbley were called to Oxford High School for a meeting with administrators about their son the morning of the shooting, Bouchard said at a press conference. According to Bouchard, administrators wanted to talk to the teen’s parents about, “behavior in the classroom that they felt was concerning.” He didn’t get into details about the behavior.
“We have since learned that the school did have contact with the student the day before and the day of the shooting for behavior in the classroom that they thought was concerning. In fact, the parents were brought in the morning of the shooting and had a face-to-face meeting with the school,” Bouchard said. “The content of that meeting obviously is part of the investigation, but we did not learn of that meeting, nor of the content of the meeting until after the shooting and during this investigation.”
Bouchard said Ethan Crumbley didn’t know about the Tuesday meeting until that day. His parents were called and he was brought into the meeting. Crumbley’s parents left about 10 a.m., a few hours before the shooting, and he stayed at the school.
James Crumbley’s Facebook page showed photos and videos with his son, including a video posted in October showing him and his son pranking Jennifer Crumbley.
Police carried out a search warrant at the East Street home in Oxford that has been owned by Jennifer and James Crumbley since 2018, according to public records. They previously lived in Renton, Washington, and in Florida, according to records obtained by Heavy. Bouchard told reporters, “We have talked to the parents and all I can tell you is they did not want their son to talk to us and they have hired an attorney.”
4. James Crumbley Works as an Account Executive at an Office Supply Company & He Has an Arrest Record in Florida
James Crumbley works as an account executive at Autonomous Inc., an office supply company, according to his LinkedIn profile. He previously worked as an account executive at Monarch, a company that sells computer hardware and software. He has also worked at several other tech companies as a salesman.
He graduated from Duncan U. Fletcher Senior High School in Neptune Beach, Florida, in 1994, according to his LinkedIn profile. He has also been a volunteer soccer coach for Clarkston Parks and Rec, he said on LinkedIn.
Crumbley has a criminal history in Florida, according to public records obtained by Heavy. He was arrested in 2005 in Duval County, Florida, and charged with driving without a license and operating with a suspended license as a habitual offender, records show. He was also accused of passing a worthless check in 1995.
5. James Crumbley Stopped Working After Suffering a Stroke & Broken Back in 2016
Jennifer Crumbley, James Crumbley’s wife and Ethan Crumbley’s mom, wrote in a blog post in 2016 that her husband suffered serious medical issues that forced him to stop working at the time.
“My husband suffered a stroke and a broken back and we were with just my income. Do you know how hard it is to support a family on only $40,000 a year? I couldn’t qualify for State Aid. I made to much,” she wrote.
In the November 11, 2016 blog post, “Dear Mr. Trump,” she wrote about her political opinions and her reluctant decision to vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. She described herself as being a member of a hardworking, middle-class family in which both parents work. She said she is a feminist, a supporter of the LGBT community, and a person who supports the right to bear arms.
“As a female and a Realtor, thank you for allowing my right to bear arms,” she wrote in the post to Trump. “Allowing me to be protected if I show a home to someone with bad intentions. Thank you for respecting that Amendment.”