Parents of Oxford High School shooting suspect charged with involuntary manslaughter

Ethan Crumbley’s parents now face charges, too

Jennifer and James Crumbley (WDIV)

The Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office has filed involuntary manslaughter charges against the parents of the student accused of opening fire at Oxford High School on Tuesday, fatally wounding four students and injuring several other people.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced her charging decision on Friday for the mother and father of Ethan Crumbley, 15, a sophomore student at Oxford High School, who was charged as an adult in the shooting.

Details here: Involuntary manslaughter charges filed against parents of Oxford High School shooting suspect

James Crumbley and Jennifer Crumbley are each facing four charges of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting. The pair are scheduled to be arraigned at 4 p.m. on Friday.

Ethan Crumbley is accused of firing dozens of rounds from a 9 mm Sig Sauer SP2022 pistol that was recently purchased by his father on Tuesday, fatally striking four fellow students and wounding seven other people, including a teacher. Crumbley has been charged as an adult with one count of terrorism causing death, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

More: What we know about the victims of the Oxford High School shooting

Prosecutor McDonald believes that the teen’s access to the weapon goes beyond negligence. During a video message Thursday night, McDonald said, “It’s just not enough to charge this shooter,” implying that charges were likely to be brought against at least one of Crumbley’s parents.

Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old charged in the Oxford High School shooting. (WDIV)

The prosecutor announced Friday afternoon that the parents are facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter charges each. McDonald said it was the strongest possible charge that they could prove against the parents.

The prosecutor also emphasized on Thursday that new evidence revealed that the shooting could have been prevented.

“... the information that will be announced (Friday) will also disclose that (the shooting) probably could have been prevented, and that is unconscionable,” McDonald said.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said earlier this week that Crumbley met with administrators on Monday and Tuesday regarding concerning behavior from the student. The teen’s parents reportedly joined the Tuesday meeting in person.

Crumbley is believed to have had the pistol purchased by his father with him during that meeting.

Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne said in a video Thursday night that “no discipline was warranted” for the student following the meeting -- but Prosecutor McDonald said she finds it difficult to believe that the meeting did not raise more concern.

“It’s hard to look at ... what was produced at that meeting ... and say that there was no concern,” McDonald said in a video message Thursday night. “Unfortunately, (Ethan Crumbley) was allowed to go back to class. And we now know that he had a weapon with him.”

Superintendent Throne says the community is taking time to grieve and process everything that happened this week. He said Thursday that funerals are expected to take place within the next week for the four students killed in the shooting: Hana St. Juliana, 14, Tate Myre, 16, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17.

Oxford High School is reportedly not expected to reopen to students for weeks.

More: ‘It’s like a war zone’: Superintendent describes state of Oxford High School, next steps after shooting

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.