Parents of Alleged Michigan School Shooter Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter

Photographs of James and Jennifer Crumbley that were released by police on December 3, 2021.
(Oakland County Sheriff’s Office/Handout via Reuters)

Oakland County, Mich., prosecutor Karen McDonald announced involuntary manslaughter charges on Friday for the parents of the high school sophomore who allegedly killed four students and wounded seven other people in a shooting at Oxford High School on Tuesday.

The suspect allegedly used a 9 mm Sig Sauer handgun bought by his father, James Crumbley, on November 26. A motive for the shooting has not yet been established.

Explaining her decision to charge the parents, McDonald said teachers noticed the suspect researching ammunition on his phone in class. School officials then contacted the parents, who didn’t respond.

However, McDonald said Jennifer Crumbley wrote in a text to her son, “lol, I’m not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught.”

On Tuesday morning, a teacher noticed that the suspect drew himself a picture of a shooting, according to McDonald. The suspect’s parents were called to the school, and were told to place their son in counseling within 48 hours.

McDonald noted that the parents did not check to see if their son was carrying a gun, which was likely in his backpack at the time. After the parents left the school, the suspect allegedly began the shooting.

There was some confusion as to the location of the parents on Friday after charges were announced. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard initially reported that the parents were missing, and that they broke contact with their attorneys before a scheduled arraignment at 4:00 p.m.

However, Crumbley attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman released a statement saying both parents would turn themselves in.

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

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.