The shooter who allegedly killed four students and injured seven, including a teacher, at Michigan’s Oxford High School has been publicly identified as 15-year-old sophomore Ethan Crumbley.
At a Wednesday press conference, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald told reporters that Crumbley has been charged as an adult with one count of terrorism, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm. More charges may be added later, said McDonald.
McDonald said evidence shows Crumbley started planning the attack “well before the incident.”
“This isn’t even a close call,” she said. “This was absolutely premeditated.”
McDonald said her office is weighing charging both of Crumbley’s parents and will be make that decision “swiftly.”
“There is a mountain of digital evidence… we are confident that we can show there was premeditation,” she said.
Crumbley was taken into custody without putting up a fight about five minutes after the attack began on Tuesday. He surrendered a semi-automatic 9mm Sig Sauer handgun, which Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe said had been purchased by the boy’s father just four days ago, on Black Friday.
Investigators believe Crumbley was preparing to shoot more students before being apprehended. Police found two 15-round clips and believe he may have had a third somewhere.
Crumbley, whose social media accounts were removed by Wednesday morning, was fairly active on YouTube as a young boy. On one account in his father’s name, he posted numerous videos of himself playing games such as Call of Duty, as well as shooting hoops with friends. He is said to have flaunted the newly purchased handgun in some now-deleted posts.
In 2017, Crumbley, from Oxford, spoke to a local newspaper about a school project he was working on with four of his classmates. The group worked with a nonprofit in town called Blessings in a Backpack, which fills backpacks with food and distributes them to “at risk” kids.
No information about a possible motive has yet been released by authorities, although some have speculated that Crumbley was bullied in school. Crumbley and his parents quickly invoked their right to remain silent and retained a lawyer after the shooting, McCabe said.
The boy’s father, James Crumbley, 45, has worked as a tech salesman and recently ran into legal trouble in Florida regarding child support payments. It is unknown if James’ current wife, Jennifer Crumbley, is Ethan’s mother. Two of James’ exes did not respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.
Jennifer Crumbley, 43, worked as a real estate broker in the Oxford area, but her staff bio has now been taken down. Although James’ online presence demonstrates a preference for the Seattle Seahawks, his posts were not overtly political.
Jennifer, however, in November 2016, penned an open letter to President-Elect Donald Trump, which she posted on her blog.
“Mr. Trump, I actually love that you are a bad public speaker because that showed sincerity, and humility,” she wrote. “You changed your mind, and you said ‘so what.’ You made the famous ‘grab them in the pussy’ comment, did it offend me? No. I say things all the time that people take the wrong way, do I mean them, not always. Do I agree that you should of [sic] shown your tax returns? No. I don’t care what you do or maybe don’t pay in taxes, I think those are personal and if the Gov’t can lock someone up over $10,000 of unpaid taxes and you slipped on by, then that shows the corruption.”
Crumbley went on to tell Trump that she hoped he would “really uncover the politicians for what I believe they really are,” and that he might “shut down Big Pharma, make health care affordable for me and my MIDDLE CLASS family again.” She was in favor of Trump’s long-promised border wall, and noted that she was “not racist” because her grandfather “came straight off the boat in Italy.”
“As a female and a Realtor, thank you for allowing my right to bear arms,” the letter continued. “Allowing me to be protected if I show a home to someone with bad intentions. Thank you for respecting that Amendment.”
She complained about parents at other schools where the “kids come from illegal immigrant parents,” and “don’t care about learning.”
It was signed, “A hard working Middle Class Law Abiding Citizen who is sick of getting fucked in the ass and would rather be grabbed by the pussy.”
Explaining why Crumbley is facing terrorism charges, McDonald said, “What about all the children at home right now who can’t eat, can’t sleep and can’t imagine a world where they ever step back in that school? Those are victims too, and so are their families and the community, and the charge of terrorism reflects that.”
She added that it was time to get serious about gun safety in the United States.
“If the incident yesterday with four children being murdered and multiple kids being injured is not enough to revisit our gun laws, I don’t know what is.”
Ceree Morris, whose two kids attend Oxford High School, told The Daily Beast that her younger son knew Crumbley and “was shocked” to learn his identity.
“My younger son went to school with the suspect, since elementary. Was not friends with him, but knew him,” Morris said. “Honestly, my son didn’t expect any Oxford students to ever do this.”
She described the community as tight-knit and very supportive. “Always come together right. Always had that hometown welcoming feeling. Always felt safe and at ease. I want to know so bad what the suspect’s motive was,” she said.