OXFORD, Mich. – The news surrounding the tragic Oxford High School shooting has been moving and changing rapidly over the past week.
The investigation into the school shooting that killed four students and injured seven other people is still ongoing. However, the suspected shooter, Ethan Crumbley, 15, has been charged as an adult on a list of charges from first-degree murder to terrorism.
The sophomore student’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are also facing charges for their alleged role in the fatal shooting. The couple were arrested Saturday morning following an hourslong manhunt.
As law enforcement agencies continue their investigation into the details of the shooting, Oxford Community Schools announced their plan to launch a separate, third-party investigation.
A lot of news has come out each day since the Nov. 30 shooting, so we’re rounding it all up for you here.
Sunday Read is ClickOnDetroit’s Sunday news review to help readers catch up on some of the most important topics of the week.
- Related: Get Caught Up
On Tuesday, Nov. 30, police say student Ethan Crumbley opened fire at Oxford High School, fatally striking four teenage students and wounding six students and one teacher.
The shooting only lasted minutes, according to law enforcement, who arrived on the scene quickly after receiving more than 100 calls to 911 due to the active shooter.
Deputies with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office apprehended the shooter, who reportedly surrendered to them without incident. Ethan Crumbley has been charged as an adult in the shooting and is lodged at the Oakland County Jail. His parents have also been charged and are jailed in Oakland County, though none of them are in contact.
The investigation is ongoing.
Here is a timeline of what happened before, during and after the Nov. 30 shooting inside Oxford High School.
Friday, Nov. 26
- Police said this is the date that James Crumbley, the father of shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley, purchased a 9 mm Sig Sauer SP2022 pistol. An employee at the gun store confirmed James Crumbley brought his son along.
- Ethan Crumbley posts photos of the gun on social media with the caption, “Just got my new beauty today,” police said.
Saturday, Nov. 27
- Jennifer Crumbley, the suspected shooter’s mother, posted on social media, “Mom and son day, testing out his new X-mas present,” according to authorities. Officials said they were at a shooting range at that time.
Monday, Nov. 29
- A teacher at Oxford High School observed Ethan Crumbley searching ammunition on his cellphone during class and reported seeing it to school officials, police said.
- School officials contacted Jennifer Crumbley via voicemail about the concerning behavior, and followed up with an email, according to authorities. The parents reportedly did not immediately respond to the school.
- Jennifer Crumbley exchanged text messages about the incident with her son, where she stated, “LOL I’m not mad. You have to learn not to get caught,” officials said.
Tuesday, Nov. 30
- A teacher found a disturbing note and drawing on Ethan Crumbley’s desk, took a picture of it and passed along that information to school officials.
- 10 a.m.: Bouchard said Ethan Crumbley’s parents met with Oxford High School officials to discuss “concerning” behavior by the 15-year-old on both Monday and Tuesday mornings.
- 12:50 p.m.: Just before 12:51 p.m., Ethan Crumbley went into a bathroom with a backpack, according to Oakland County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Marc Keast.
- 12:51 p.m.: Ethan Crumbley is accused of walking out of the bathroom with a 9 mm Sig Sauer SP2022 pistol, firing shots at classmates, police said.
- 12:52 p.m.: The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office received hundreds of phone calls about gunshots at the high school.
- 12:57 p.m.: This is approximately around the time Oakland County deputies took Ethan Crumbley into custody, according to Undersheriff Mike McCabe. He said the shooting suspect was arrested within five minutes of the first 911 call.
- 1:22 p.m.: When news of the active shooter at Oxford High School became public, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, “Ethan, don’t do it,” according to authorities.
- 1:37 p.m.: James Crumbley called 911 to report that a gun was missing from his house and he believed his son might be the shooter, police said.
- 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.: During the time between when police made an arrest and the first briefing, Ethan Crumbley invoked his right to remain silent and asked for an attorney, McCabe said.
- 3 p.m.: McCabe revealed that three students had been killed in the shooting:
- Hana St. Juliana, 14
- Tate Myre, 16, and
- Madisyn Baldwin, 17.
- 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.: During this time period, deputies began serving a search warrant at Ethan Crumbley’s house, McCabe said. Deputies seized the teenager’s cellphone as evidence, he said.
- 5 p.m.: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined McCabe for a second briefing, thanked first responders for their work and offered thoughts and prayers for everyone involved.
- 5 p.m.: McCabe revealed Ethan Crumbley’s parents had told their son not to talk to police and expressed that they would be hiring an attorney.
- 7 p.m.: A prayer vigil was held at Lakepoint Community Church in Oxford.
- 10 p.m.: Bouchard held his first briefing, revealing several new details about the shooting and updating the conditions of eight people who were injured -- seven students and one teacher.
Wednesday, Dec. 1
- 11:15 a.m.: Bouchard provides another update, including details from surveillance video inside the school and the conditions of the injured victims.
- 12:30 p.m.: Officials announce a fourth student, Justin Shilling, 17, had died from injuries suffered during the shooting.
- 2 p.m.: Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald announces Ethan Crumbley is facing 24 charges, and will be charged as an adult.
- 3 p.m.: Bouchard held a briefing, expressing support for the decision to charge Ethan Crumbley as an adult. He also said more than 30 shots had been fired during the shooting, three 15-round magazines had been found and no evidence of previous bullying had been discovered.
- 4 p.m.: Ethan Crumbley appears on video for his arraignment. His parents also appeared on video during the proceedings.
- 4:30 p.m.: Judge Nancy T. Carniak denies bond in the case and agrees to have Ethan Crumbley transferred from the Oakland County Children’s Village to the Oakland County Jail.
- 6 p.m.: Deputies released an update on the conditions of the injured victims. Four had been discharged from the hospital, two were listed as stable and one remained in critical condition.
Thursday, Dec. 2
- Overnight, into Thursday morning: In the wake of the Oxford High School shooting, dozens of other schools around Southeast Michigan have temporarily closed their doors due to threats.
- 4 p.m.: Bouchard reveals authorities are investigating dozens of school threats in the area, and issues a stern warning to anyone making those threats.
- 4:15 p.m.: During the briefing about school threats, McDonald reveals she expects to make a decision within 24 hours on whether or not Ethan Crumbley’s parents will face charges.
Friday, Dec. 3
- 12 p.m.: A prosecutor issues involuntary manslaughter charges against James and Jennifer Crumbley.
- 12:15 p.m.: Judge Julie Nicholson approves a warrant to take James and Jennifer Crumbley into custody.
- 3 p.m.: Law enforcement receive a “keep on the lookout” alert for the parents, who were believed to possibly be fleeing town amid the charges.
- Through Friday: A multi-agency manhunt is underway after James and Jennifer Crumbley fail to appear for a 4 p.m. arraignment hearing.
- 10 p.m.: Detroit police surround a building on the city’s east side, where a tipster believed the couple was hiding.
Saturday, Dec. 4
- 1:40 a.m.: At approximately this time, Detroit police arrest James and Jennifer Crumbley.
- 3 a.m.: Detroit police chief James White holds a news briefing to announce the arrest, and that the couple was handed over to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.
- 9:30 a.m.: James and Jennifer Crumbley are arraigned on involuntary manslaughter charges in Oakland County. They both plead not guilty to all charges.
- 3:30 p.m.: Sometime around this time, Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne sends a letter to the community with its version of a timeline of the shooting events. Throne also defended school staff’s decision to send the suspected shooter back to class following a meeting over concerning behavior. The letter also announces a third-party investigation that will examine the shooting events and the school’s role in them. Read the letter here.
- 4 p.m.: Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard holds a news conference to share more details regarding the arrest of James and Jennifer Crumbley. Watch the news briefing here.
- A probable cause conference is scheduled for Ethan Crumbley on Dec. 13.
- A preliminary examination is scheduled for Ethan Crumbley on Dec. 20.
- A probable cause hearing is scheduled for both James and Jennifer Crumbley on Dec. 14.
- A preliminary examination is scheduled for both James and Jennifer Crumbley on Dec. 22.
Ethan Crumbley charges
Ethan Crumbley faces 24 charges in connection with the Oxford High School shooting. The 15-year-old has been charged as an adult with the following:
- One count of terrorism causing death
- 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
A not guilty plea was entered into the court on behalf of Ethan Crumbley. The teen was refused bond and is being housed at the Oakland County Jail.
James Crumbley, 45, and Jennifer Crumbley, 43, are each being charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter:
Each of the parents are facing the following four charges:
- Count 1: Involuntary manslaughter, maximum $7,500 fine and 15 years in prison for the death of 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin
- Count 2: Involuntary manslaughter, maximum $7,500 fine and 15 years in prison for the death of 16-year-old Tate Myre
- Count 3: Involuntary manslaughter, maximum $7,500 fine and 15 years in prison for the death of 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana
- Count 4: Involuntary manslaughter, maximum $7,500 fine and 15 years in prison for the death of 17-year-old Justin Shilling
If convicted on all counts against them, the pair each face maximum prison sentences of 60 years and maximum fines of $30,000. The judge issued a $500,000 bond for each of them, no 10%. If they post bail, they will be required to wear GPS tethers, turn over all of their firearms to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, in addition to complying with several other stipulations.
Both James and Jennifer Crumbley pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against them.
You can watch the entire arraignment here.
Parents appear to flee ahead of arraignment
Prior to their arraignment, law enforcement were searching for the parents for hours.
The couple’s attorneys -- Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman -- released a statement on Friday explaining their clients had left town, but planned to return to face the charges against them. The attorneys doubled down on their message during the Saturday arraignment, arguing that they were unaware of the scheduled arraignment time and the accused were “never” fleeing prosecution.
But law enforcement, who apprehended the couple in Detroit early Saturday morning, say that the couple’s actions did not make it seem like they planned to turn themselves in.
Prosecutor shares evidence
When announcing the charges against James and Jennifer Crumbley on Friday, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald unveiled several pieces of evidence in connection with the shooting.
Ethan Crumbley is accused of firing dozens of rounds from a 9 mm Sig Sauer SP2022 pistol that was recently purchased by his father, fatally striking four students and wounding six students a teacher.
Officials revealed Friday that James Crumbley purchased the weapon at a gun shop in Oxford on Nov. 26 -- four days before the shooting -- with his son Ethan Crumbley present. Ethan Crumbley later took to social media to post a photo of the pistol, writing “Just got my new beauty today,” including an emoji with hearts, prosecutors said.
Following that purchase, mother Jennifer Crumbley reportedly posted on social media, writing, “Mom and son day testing out his new Christmas present.”
McDonald says the evidence indicates that the weapon purchased by James Crumbley was intended as a gift for Ethan Crumbley. In Michigan, you must be at least 18 years old to obtain a handgun license. Officials say the weapon was stored in an unlocked drawer in the parents’ bedroom at their home in Oxford Village.
McDonald said 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 at that time that charges were likely to be brought against at least one of Ethan Crumbley’s parents.
The reasoning behind the involuntary manslaughter charges goes beyond just the gun ownership, officials said Friday.
Prosecutor: Parents aware of ‘disturbing’ behavior
According to McDonald, a teacher at Oxford High School observed Ethan Crumbley looking up ammunition on his cell phone during class on Nov. 29. The teacher reported the incident to school officials, who reportedly reached out to Jennifer Crumbley by phone and email to alert the parents.
School personnel say they did not receive a response from either parent regarding the internet search. According to McDonald, Jennifer Crumbley sent a text to her son regarding the incident, writing “LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.”
On the day of the shooting, Nov. 30, officials report that a teacher discovered a note with disturbing drawings and messages on Ethan Crumbley’s desk, prompting her to take a picture on her cell phone and alert school personnel. Prosecutors say the note contained the following items:
- A drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointing at the words, “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.”
- A drawing of a bullet with “blood everywhere” written above the bullet.
- A drawing of a person who appeared to have been shot twice and bleeding.
- A drawing of a laughing emoji.
- Writing that said, “My life is useless.”
- Writing that said, “The world is dead.”
Parents meet with school personnel on day of shooting
James and Jennifer Crumbley were summoned to Oxford High School on the morning of the shooting to address the note found by the teacher. Ethan Crumbley and his parents together met with school personnel, where they were shown the note and were advised to take their son to counseling within 48 hours.
During the meeting, Prosecutor McDonald says that the parents both “failed to ask their son if he had his gun with him, or where his gun was located, and failed to inspect his backpack for the presence of the gun -- which he had with him.”
Investigators previously said that the weapon was likely stored in Ethan Crumbley’s backpack on the day of the shooting, which was present during the Tuesday meeting.
Parents refuse to take Ethan Crumbley home after meeting
McDonald says parents James and Jennifer Crumbley did not want to take their son home with them following the meeting on Nov. 30. Instead, the couple left the school without him, and Ethan Crumbley was sent back to class.
According to prosecutors, Jennifer Crumbley sent a text message to her son after news of the school shooting became public, writing, “Ethan don’t do it.” Shortly after, at 1:37 p.m., James Crumbley called 911 and reported that a gun was missing from his house, and that he believed his son may be the shooter at Oxford High School.
McDonald said Friday that she did not intend to “chastise or attack” school personnel, but that Ethan Crumbley “should not have been allowed to go back to that class.”
Oxford Community Schools’ response
Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne said in a video Thursday night that “no discipline was warranted” for the student following the Tuesday meeting with school administrators and parents -- 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 issued a letter to the community on Saturday that defended school counselors’ decision to release Ethan Crumbley back to the classroom following the meeting.
“Given the fact that the child had no prior disciplinary infractions, the decision was made he would be returned to the classroom rather than sent home to an empty house. These incidents remained at the guidance counselor level and were never elevated to the principal or assistant principal’s office,” part of the letter reads.
“While we understand this decision has caused anger, confusion and prompted understandable questioning, the counselors made a judgment based on their professional training and clinical experience and did not have all the facts we now know.”
Read the entire letter below.
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.
What we know about the victims
Four students were killed in the Oxford High School shooting:
Hana St. Juliana, 14
Close family friends say Juliana was a sweet kid who joined them on family vacations. By all accounts, she was a bright light, very good athlete and an exceptional friend.
Tate Myre, 16
An online petition has been launched to rename Oxford High School’s football stadium after Myre, who played for the team.
“Tate is not just a hero to his fellow students at Oxford high school but a legend, his act of bravery should be remembered forever and passed down through generations. He put his life in danger to try and help the thousands of other students at Oxford High School,” the petition reads.
Madisyn Baldwin, 17
Baldwin, a senior set to graduate this year, had already been accepted into several colleges, some with a full scholarship, according to her family.
Her family said she was an artist who loved to draw, read and write. She was the eldest of three siblings. She had a younger half brother and two sisters she loved dearly.
Justin Shilling, 17
Shilling died the day after the shooting, after being hospitalized due to his injuries. He is remembered by his loved ones as an exceptional scholar, athlete, worker and friend.
“The loss of Justin leaves such a gaping hole in our family that we cannot conceive of life without him,” the family said in a statement. “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.”
Seven others injured
Six other students and one teacher were injured in the shooting. Here is the latest on their conditions, as of 6:30 p.m. Thursday, from officials:
- A 14-year-old boy was discharged from a hospital on Wednesday.
- A 14-year-old girl is in stable condition after being shot in the left chest and neck.
- A 15-year-old who suffered a left leg gunshot wound was discharged on Tuesday.
- A 17-year-old girl is in stable condition after being shot in the neck.
- A 17-year-old girl is in stable condition with a gunshot wound to the chest.
- A 17-year-old boy was discharged Tuesday after being shot in the hip.
- A 47-year-old teacher who was shot in her left shoulder was discharged Tuesday.
The victims were transported to several different hospitals in the area including McLaren Lapeer, McLaren Oakland and St. Joe’s in Pontiac.
Latest briefings, messages from officials
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard on Dec. 4
Arraignment of James, Jennifer Crumbley on Dec. 4
Detroit police Chief James White on Dec. 4
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Dec. 3
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald on Dec. 3
How to donate to community
Oxford High School has released information on where people can donate to help the community:
Donations can be made in person at any Oxford Bank location or online here. You can also mail a check to: Oxford Bank, PO Box 17, Oxford, MI 48371. Make check payable to the Oxford Community Memorial and Victims Fund.
Genisys Credit Union
The credit union has created an account called “Oxford Strong.” It will be used to accept donations for the families impacted by the shootings. Donations can be made at any Genisys location. Checks should be made payable to Genisys Credit Union - Oxford Strong.
Direct Donation to OCS
If you’d like to make a direct donation to Oxford Community Schools you can email the following: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oxford Wildcat Boosters
The Oxford Wildcat Boosters are collecting donations and selling Oxford Strong spirit wear items that 100% of the profits go to, or in honor of, families impacted by the shooting. You can click here for more information.