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Michigan sheriff doubts that parents of school shooter were planning to surrender to police 


Hours after the arrest of Ethan Crumbley’s parents in a warehouse in Detroit, mile from the Canadian border, Oakland County sheriff Michael Bouchard expressed doubts that they were planning an imminent surrender as their lawyers had insisted. 

‘Obviously finding them in a building in Detroit doesn’t lend itself to cooperation,’ the sheriff told DailyMail.com Saturday morning, a day after law enforcement issued a ‘be on the lookout’ alert for police to hunt down the ‘fugitive parents’ charged in connection with the Oxford High School deaths. 

Their lawyers, Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman, still insist they weren’t hiding.

‘We understand that our clients were apprehended last night although we fully intended to turn them in first thing this morning for arraignment, contrary to the misinformation that has been rampant in the media,’ they said in a statement to DailyMail.com.

‘It was obvious they were aware he had unfettered access to this weapon,’ Bouchard said. ‘And even more concerning that when news of this began to break about the active shooter, that they immediately thought of their son potentially as the perpetrator.’

When asked whether he thinks the parents knew in advance that the shooting was going to happen, he replied, ‘I don’t think it specifically means they knew it was going to happen. But they certainly knew it was something that was a possibility and something that they were aware of, certainly in light of the discussion they had the day of the shooting and when they had left him at the school.’ 

He noted the parents spent the night in separate cells at the county jail, pending Saturday morning’s arraignment being conducted through a live video feed. 

The sheriff noted the investigation into the attack remains open and that authorities haven’t ruled out the possibility of additional charges, including against school officials for failing to report the threat, even after holding an emergency meeting with the teen and his parents the day of the shooting.

‘Obviously, in hindsight, I think it’s clear to everyone they should have (notified us),’ he said.

‘That will still be part of a lot of future investigations and proceedings, I’m sure,’ he added. ‘That ultimately will be a charging decision for the prosecutor based on everything we gather.’   

Jennifer Crumbley

James (left) and Jennifer Crumbley (right) were booked into the Oakland County Jail early Saturday morning after they were arrested in Detroit less than a mile from the Canadian border. The couple led authorities on a large-scale manhunt after fleeing involuntary manslaughter charges in connection with the deadly school shooting said to be perpetrated by their son 

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard doubts that James and Jennifer planned to turn themselves into the police on Saturday morning as their legal team claims

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard doubts that James and Jennifer planned to turn themselves into the police on Saturday morning as their legal team claims

James and Jennifer Crumbley were the target of a federal manhunt; US Marshals placed a $10,000 bounty on information leading to their arrest after they were charged with involuntary manslaughter on Friday 

James and Jennifer Crumbley were taken into custody early Saturday morning after leading authorities on a large-scale manhunt.  

The Crumbleys were captured in the basement of a building on the 1100 block of Bellevue Street in Detroit. Law enforcement sources say the couple withdrew $4,000 from an ATM before driving to their hideout.  

James and Jennifer were found nearly 12 hours after the 4 p.m. deadline to surrender to police. 

The sheriff said he’s happy the Crumbleys will finally face justice for their role in Tuesday’s school shooting – the deadliest in the U.S. since 2018. 

The violent attack claimed the lives of Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17. Seven more people were injured. Three were in hospitals in stable condition. 

Police were led to the commercial building, where the Crumbleys appeared to be hiding, by a tip from a Detroit business owner and were captured on video going inside, Detroit Police Chief James White said early Saturday morning. 

Ethan Crumbley, 15, is seen in his booking photo released by Oakland County sheriff's office

At an arraignment in Pontiac, Michigan, on Wednesday Crumbley sat mute, masked and suited in a heavy suicide-prevention vest, while attorneys and his parents joined in by video conference.

Ethan, 15, is seen in his booking photo released by Oakland County sheriff’s office and wearing a heavy suicide-prevention vest at his arraignment hearing in Pontiac on Wednesday

James, 45, (top left) and Jennifer, 43, (top center) Crumbley were each granted a $500,000 bond, which must be paid in full

James, 45, (top left) and Jennifer, 43, (top center) Crumbley were each granted a $500,000 bond, which must be paid in full

Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe said a woman was spotted near the vehicle and ran away when the business owner called police. White also said the two did not break in and were helped by an unnamed accomplice who let them into the building.

Their arrest was without incident and came after the U.S. Marshals offered a $10,000 bounty for information leading to their capture when they fled Friday after involuntary manslaughter charges in connection with the school massacre perpetrated by their son were announced. 

After the Crumbleys were arrested, Chief White announced that charges are likely to be connected to the person who appeared to aid James and Jennifer hide from police but confessed that much more investigating will need to be conducted. 

‘At this point, I would say we don’t have a complete handle on that in terms of all the information and interviews that have to be done. Literally, we’ve been doing thousands of interviews. We have thousands of pieces of evidence we have to go through and process.’

On Friday night, hours after a 4pm deadline for their surrender, police in Detroit discovered the couple's abandoned black 2021 Kia Seltos SUV (above in a photo brightened for visibility) on the east side of Detroit

On Friday night, hours after a 4pm deadline for their surrender, police in Detroit discovered the couple’s abandoned black 2021 Kia Seltos SUV (above in a photo brightened for visibility) on the east side of Detroit

The Crumbley parents were in custody after a manhunt in Detroit in the early hours of Saturday following the discovery of the black Kia SUV that was of interest to police. Pictured: Police search a building of interest near the Kia

The Crumbley parents were in custody after a manhunt in Detroit in the early hours of Saturday following the discovery of the black Kia SUV that was of interest to police. Pictured: Police search a building of interest near the Kia

The abandoned Kia (right) was reported to police by a tipster in the area who noted it matched the description

The abandoned Kia (right) was reported to police by a tipster in the area who noted it matched the description 

The Crumbley parents were taken into custody after a manhunt in Detroit in the early hours of Saturday following the discovery of the black Kia SUV that was of interest to police

The Crumbley parents were taken into custody after a manhunt in Detroit in the early hours of Saturday following the discovery of the black Kia SUV that was of interest to police

Michigan school shooter’s parents have criminal histories including charges of DUI and passing bad checks 

James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of accused Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley, 15, both had a history of run-ins with the law, which did not prevent the dad from buying a gun on Black Friday.

Court records from Florida indicate that on February 12, 2005, the pair were charged with driving under the influence. They pleaded no contest and were fined $652 each,

James’ criminal record in Florida also includes a charge of driving with a suspended license and having an improper tag, which cost him more than $200 in fines

Two years prior to the DUI case, Jennifer was accused of passing a bad check in the amount of $150, earning her a misdemeanor charge that was ultimately dismissed.

She was accused again in 2004 of writing a phony check and was fined $240.

James’ history of run-ins with the law did not impede him from passing a background check when purchasing the 9mm Sig Sauer on November 26.

                                                                                  Source: NY Post

It has been revealed that on the morning of the shooting, a teacher found a chilling note on Ethan’s desk, which featured disturbing drawings depicting a semi-automatic gun, a bullet, a shooting victim and a laughing emoji.

According to the prosecutor, the note included the words ‘blood everywhere,’ ‘thoughts won’t stop, help me,’ ‘my life is useless’ and ‘the world is dead.’

Jennifer and James were immediately summoned to the school to discuss their son’s worrying behavior. A school counselor was able to obtain the note with the drawings, but Prosecutor Karen McDonald said by then its contents had been ‘altered.’

The doodles of the gun and the bullet-ridden figure were ‘scratched out,’ as well as Ethan’s writings.

During the meeting, the Crumbleys were shown the note and were advised that they were required to get Ethan into counselling within 48 hours. 

The mother and father failed to ask Ethan if he had his gun with him, or where his gun was, and did not inspect his backpack, McDonald said.

But the parents ‘resisted’ the idea of pulling their son out of school at that time and left without him, McDonald said. This was not the first time school administrators had expressed concern regarding Ethan’s behavior. 

McDonald revealed that Jennifer texted her son about 30 minutes after the rampage saying, ‘Ethan, don’t do it,’ and that her husband James called 911 to report that his gun – a 9 mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 – was missing and that Ethan was likely the shooter. 

Bouchard said school officials should have notified police about their concern, which may have allowed them to stop the deadly tragedy from taking place. 

‘We are part of these discussions, tragically, every week where we get threats of disturbing behavior or something that rises to the attention of a student or a teacher,’ he continued. ‘And we always ask that we get brought in and informed of that, either sit in on the meeting or immediately following on because it triggers protocols we have.

Justin Shilling died in the hospital

Tate Myre died at the school

Justin Shilling, 17 (left), died in the hospital on Wednesday morning and Tate Myre, 16, (right) died in the school on Tuesday 

Madisyn Baldwin, 17

Hana St Juliana, 14

Madisyn Baldwin, 17 (left), and Hana St Juliana, 14 (right), died in Tuesday’s shooting rampage at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit 

‘After we intervene, we always do a follow-up at the home, speak to the parents and see if there’s access to weapons. And if there are, we seize them for safe keeping until things are rendered safe.’

‘We certainly would have done the exact same protocol in this tragedy,’ he said.

Authorities have reported that Ethan took the gun from an unlocked drawer in his parents’ bedroom. 

Prosecutors say the parents bought the gun their son used to kill four as a Christmas present on Black Friday, and failed to secure it after he penned a disturbing note saying ‘thoughts won’t stop, help me.’

The sheriff also criticized the Oakland County prosecutor’s office for failing to notify the sheriff’s office in advance of Friday’s press conference where McDonald announced charges against the parents.

‘Obviously there was a disconnect between the prosecutor’s office and our lead investigator,’ Bouchard said. But he added, ‘We’re moving forward and focusing on holding responsibles accountable.’

Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald announced manslaughter charges against James and Jennifer Crumbley on Friday afternoon 

Timeline of Oxford High School Shooting: 

 NOVEMBER 26:

Ethan’s father James purchases the 9 mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 for Ethan from Acme Shooting Goods in Oxford. 

His son was with him.

NOVEMBER 27:

Jennifer posts a message on social media that read: ‘Mom and son day testing out his new Xmas present.’

NOVEMBER 29:

Teacher sees Ethan Crumbley searching about ammunition on his cell phone during class, leading to a meeting with the student.

His mother Jennifer is contacted about an ‘inappropriate internet search.’ The school followed up via email but received no response.

NOVEMBER 29:

That same day, Jennifer texts Ethan ‘lol I’m not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught,’ Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said. 

NOVEMBER 30:  

A teacher finds a chilling note on Ethan’s desk that featured disturbing drawings depicting a gun, a bullet, blood everywhere, a shooting victim and a laughing emoji.

The note included the words: ‘Thoughts won’t stop, help me’; ‘my life is useless’ and ‘the world is dead,’ McDonald said.

Jennifer and James are immediately summoned to the school for a meeting.

They failed to ask if their son had the gun with him or where it was, and they failed to inspect his backpack for the gun, which he did have with him, McDonald said.

They left the school without Ethan.

12:51 pm:

Ethan allegedly shoots and kills four students

1:22 pm:

Jennifer texts Ethan ‘don’t do it.’

The shooting had already taken place.

1:37 pm:

James calls 911 to report the gun missing and said he thinks his son might have it. 

DECEMBER 1:

Ethan is charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder and terrorism. 

DECEMBER 2:

Prosecutor Karen McDonald signals that Ethan’s parents are under scrutiny and said she hoped to announce charging decision ‘in the next 24 hours.’

DECEMBER 3:

McDonald announces that Jennifer and James are charged with four counts each of involuntary manslaughter. 

2-3pm: 

The couple were last seen near Rochester Hills before leading authorities on a manhunt for several hours. 

They withdraw $4,000 from an ATM in the area before leaving the motel they had been staying at since Tuesday after the shooting.

4 pm: 

The couple were scheduled to be arraigned at 4pm but stopped communicating with their attorneys, prompting state and federal officials to launch a manhunt.

Crumbleys’ lawyers said their clients had left for their own safety and were not on the run. 

Later in the day: 

Oakland County sheriff complained after the charges were announced that he did not get an advance warning of the charges being filed against the pair and learned of them from media reports.  

Jennifer and James did not show up to court, but their lawyer said they ‘are returning’ and ‘would be turning themselves in to be arraigned.’

10 pm: 

A tipster reports the Crumbleys’ abandoned Kia in a neighborhood on the east side of Detroit.

DECEMBER 4:  

A massive manhunt of the area leads to their capture in the basement of a nearby building – less than a mile from the Canadian border.  

2:45 am:

James and Jennifer are booked at the Oakland County Jail.

9:30 am: 

The Crumbleys appear for their video conference arraignment from separate rooms in the jail. 

They each pleaded not guilty to all four counts of involuntary manslaughter. 

Judge Julie Nicholson set each parent’s bond at $500,000, which must be paid in full. 

They remain at Oakland County Jail after the virtual meeting, which is also where their son Ethan is being held.



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