‘The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.’: Police detail note, drawing teacher found on desk of suspected Oxford High shooter

Teacher took picture of drawing with phone, lieutenant says

Ethan Crumbley is accused in a Nov. 30, 2021, shooting at Oxford High School. (WDIV)

OXFORD, Mich. – A teacher at Oxford High School found a disturbing note and drawing on the desk of Ethan Crumbley hours before he is accused of firing shots that killed four students and injured seven others, police said.

Tim Willis, a lieutenant with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, spoke in court Friday and described a discovery that alarmed Crumbley’s teacher so much, she took a picture of it with her phone.

“The morning of the shooting, Ethan Crumbley’s teacher came upon a note on Ethan’s desk, which alarmed her to the point that she took a picture of it on her phone,” Willis said. “The note contained the following: a drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointed at the words, ‘The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.’ In another section of the note was a drawing of a bullet with the following words above that bullet: ‘Blood everywhere.’ Between the drawing of the gun and the bullet is the drawing of a person who appears to have been shot twice and bleeding. Below that figure is the drawing of a laughing emoji. Further down the drawing are the words, ‘My life is useless,’ and to the right of those words are, ‘The world is dead.’”

RELATED: Police say Oxford shooting suspect looked up ammo in class; mother told him not to get caught

School officials said this drawing prompted a 10 a.m. meeting with both parents Tuesday, the morning of the shooting. A school counselor went to the classroom, removed Crumbley and brought him into the office with his backpack, according to police.

“The counselor obtained the drawing, but Ethan had altered it,” Willis said. “The drawings of the gun and the bloody figure were scratched out, along with the words, ‘Help me,’ and, ‘My life is useless,’ ‘The world is dead,’ and, ‘Blood everywhere.’ They were all scratched out.”

At the meeting, James and Jennifer Crumbley were shown the drawing and told that both were required to get their son into counseling within 48 hours, according to Willis.

Officials said the parents “resisted the idea of Ethan leaving the school at that time.” They left the building without their son, authorities said.

More: Oxford schools defend decision to send suspected shooter back to class, launches outside probe

Gun purchase

Willis said Ethan Crumbley went with his father on Nov. 26 to purchase a 9 mm Sig Sauer handgun. Later that day, the teenager posted photos of the gun on social media with the caption, “Just got my new beauty today,” police said.

On Nov. 27, Jennifer Crumbley, posted on social media, “Mom and son day, testing out his new X-mas present,” according to authorities.

On Friday, a prosecutor issued four charges of involuntary manslaughter against both parents.

Shooting, aftermath

Willis said that when news of the active shooter at Oxford High School became public, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son at 1:22 p.m., “Ethan, don’t do it.”

At 1:37 p.m., James Crumbley called 9-1-1 to report that a gun was missing from his house and he believed his son might be the shooter, according to authorities.

“Further investigation revealed that the Sig Sauer 9 mm handgun purchased by James Crumbley was stored, unlocked in a drawer in James and Jennifer’s bedroom,” Willis said. “The gun recovered from Ethan Crumbley after the shooting was the same gun that was purchased by James Crumbley on 11/26/21 in the presence of Ethan.”

The shooting left four students dead and seven people injured, officials said. Ethan Crumbley is facing 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. He is being charged as an adult.

He is being held without bond at the Oakland County Jail. On Friday, police were given a warrant to take his parents into custody on the involuntary manslaughter charges.


Read more: Everything we know about Oxford High School shooting -- timeline, charges, evidence, more


About the Author:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.