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Manhunt Underway For Parents Of Oxford High School Shooting Suspect

Oxford, MI – A manhunt is underway for the parents of the alleged Oxford High School shooter.

James and Jennifer Crumbley were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter each Friday morning, WFSB reported.

A judge subsequently issued warrants for their arrest, WDIV reported.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) said the Crumbleys’ attorney reached out to detectives and told them that repeated attempts to reach the couple have gone unanswered, according to WXMI.

They may be traveling in a black 2021 Kia Seltos bearing Michigan license plate number DQG 5203.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Marshals Office, and the OCSO’s fugitive team have all been deployed to locate the Crumbleys.

“The action of fleeing and ignoring their attorney certainly adds weight to the charges,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said Friday. “They cannot run from their part in this tragedy.”

The Crumbleys’ attorney released a statement Friday saying the couple is not trying to evade arrest, WXYZ reported.

“On Thursday night we contacted the Oakland County prosecutor to discuss this matter and to advise her that James and Jennifer Crumbley would be turning themselves in to be arraigned,” the statement read. “Instead of communicating with us, the prosecutor held a press conference to announce charges.”

“The Crumbleys left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety,” the attorney continued. “They are returning to the area to be arraigned. They are not fleeing from law enforcement despite recent comments in media reports.”

Four teens were killed and a teacher and six other students were wounded during the Nov. 30 mass shooting.

Police said the 9mm Sig Sauer handgun used in the attack had been purchased by James Crumbley, the 15-year-old Oxford High School sophomore’s father, just four days before the attack, People reported.

The teen’s father also purchased three 15-round magazines at the same time, all of which have been recovered, Sheriff Bouchard confirmed Wednesday.

As a matter of policy, The Police Tribune no longer publishes the names or photos of school shooters so as not to contribute to fame-motivated attacks.

The alleged gunman, who is being charged as an adult, faces four counts of first-degree murder, one count of terrorism causing death, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, FOX News reported.

As new details are released in court, the chain of events preceding the school shooting have become clearer.

According to OCSO Lieutenant Tim Willis, the school called Jennifer Crumbley on Nov. 29 after a teacher notified school administrators she saw the teen looking up ammunition during class, WDIV reported.

“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,’” Lt. Crumbley said during the court proceedings.

Approximately 10 a.m. the next day, just three hours before the deadly rampage, Jennifer and James Crumbley were called to the school to meet with administrators about a drawing and notations a teacher saw on the 15-year-old boy’s desk, DWIV reported.

The teacher was so alarmed by the drawing, she snapped a picture of it with her phone, Lt. 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,’” the lieutenant told the court.

School officials told the couple to get their son into counseling within 48 hours, WDIV reported.

The Crumbleys opted to leave the teen in school at that time.

Just three hours later, he opened fire on his fellow students using a 9mm Sig Sauer handgun his father bought for him on Nov. 26 for a Christmas gift, according to police.

As news of the mass shooting spread, Jennifer Crumbley sent a text to her son at 1:22 p.m., telling him, “don’t do it,” Lt. Willis said.

James Crumbley called 911 15 minutes later and reported a gun was missing from his home, WDIV reported.

He said he believed his son could be the gunman at Oxford High School.

“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,” Lt. Willis said, according to WDIV. “The gun recovered from [the suspect] after the shooting was the same gun that was purchased by James Crumbley on 11/26/21 in the presence of [the suspect].”

Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Mark Keast told the court he couldn’t find “the words to describe how horrific” the surveillance footage of the mass shooting is.

The gunman shot his fellow students at close range, hitting them in their necks, shoulders, and faces, the Daily Mail reported.

“He methodically and deliberately walked down a hallway, aimed the firearm at students and fired it,” Keast said, according to FOX News. “After children started running away from the defendant, he continued down the hallway, again at a deliberate and methodical pace, pointing and aiming inside classrooms and at students who hadn’t had the opportunity to escape.”

Sheriff Bouchard said witnesses told investigators they saw the shooter tugging on doors while shooting people, The Daily Beast reported.

“We know from visible evidence he shot through doors,” Sheriff Bouchard added.

Three students died from their wounds shortly after the attack.

They have been identified as 16-year-old Tate Myre, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana.

A fourth victim, 17-year-old Justin Schilling, died at a hospital Wednesday morning.

A 47-year-old teacher, a 17-year-old boy, and a 15-year-old boy have all been released from the hospital, FOX News reported.

Four other victims remain hospitalized.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said investigators have uncovered “a mountain of digital evidence” indicating the attack was “not just an impulsive act,” but had been planned out well in advance.

According to investigators, the suspect recorded a video discussing his plot the night before the mass shooting, the Daily Mail reported.

The footage was not posted online, Sheriff Bouchard said.

The suspect also allegedly had a journal in his backpack containing statements about shooting and killing other students, NBC News reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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