Oxford High School shooting: What prosecutors say happened before the gunfire started

·3 min read

On Friday, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced her office has issued four counts of involuntary manslaughter against both parents of Oxford High School shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley in connection with the rampage earlier this week killing four students and wounding seven more, including a teacher.

Here's what McDonald, at a news conference, said happened in the days and hours before the teen charged in the shooting opened fire.

Nov. 26, 2021

James Crumbley purchases a 9mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 from ACME Shooting Goods in Oxford. A store employee confirmed that Ethan was with his father, James, at the time of the purchase. James Crumbley also filled out necessary federal paperwork for the purchase of the firearm.

Also on that day, Ethan Crumbley posted photos on social media of the semi-automatic handgun, along with the caption, "Just got my new beauty today," paired with heart emojis next to a photo of a similar looking gun, with the added words, "Any questions I will answer."

Nov. 27

Ethan Crumbley's mother, Jennifer, posts on social media "testing out his new Christmas present," in an apparent reference to her son and the gun.

More: Why prosecutors charged Oxford school shooting suspect's parents

More: Prosecutor: Oxford officials knew shooting suspect searched online for ammo, made drawings

More: Parents of Oxford school shooting suspect charged with involuntary manslaughter

Nov. 29

A teacher at Oxford High School sees 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley searching about ammunition on his cellphone during class and reported the episode to school officials. Later, Jennifer Crumbley was left a voicemail by school personnel about Ethan's internet search. School personnel followed up the voicemail with an email, but said they received no response from either parent.

Oxford High School in Oxford following an active shooter situation at Oxford High School in Oxford on Nov. 30, 2021. Police took a suspected shooter into custody and there were multiple victims, the Oakland County Sheriff's office said.
Oxford High School in Oxford following an active shooter situation at Oxford High School in Oxford on Nov. 30, 2021. Police took a suspected shooter into custody and there were multiple victims, the Oakland County Sheriff's office said.

Later, Ethan's mother, Jennifer, exchanged text messages about the incident with her son on that day: "LOL I'm not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught."

Nov. 30

A teacher at Oxford High School sees a note, apparently belonging to Ethan, that alarms her to the point that she took a picture of it on her cellphone. The note contained a drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointing at the words, "The thoughts won't stop. Help me."

In another section of the note, there was a drawing of a bullet. Above the drawing, the words, "blood everywhere."

Between the drawing of the gun and the bullet is another drawing of a person who appears to have been shot twice and bleeding. Below that figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji.

Farther down on the drawing are their words, "my life is useless." And to the right of those the words, more writing: "The world is dead."

As a result, Ethan's parents, James and Jennifer, were immediately summoned to the school. A school counselor came to Ethan's classroom and brought him to the office with his backpack. A counselor obtained the drawing, but Ethan had apparently already altered it.

James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, appear via video for the arraignment of their son on Dec. 1, 2021.
James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, appear via video for the arraignment of their son on Dec. 1, 2021.

The drawings of the gun and the bloody figure were now scratched out, as well as the phrases "help me," "my life is useless," "the world is dead" and "blood everywhere."

At the meeting, school personnel show James and Jennifer Crumbley the drawing and advise them that they are required to get their son into counseling within 48 hours. After hearing this at the meeting in the office, James and Jennifer Crumbley do not ask their son whether he had his gun with him, or where his gun was located and do not inspect his backpack for the presence of the gun, which prosecutors said he actually had with him.

Ethan's parents also resist the idea of taking the 15-year-old out of school immediately. Instead, James and Jennifer Crumbley leave the high school without their son. He was returned to the classroom.

Around 1 p.m., the shooting at Oxford High School begins, according to law enforcement accounts that day.

At 1:22, after news of an active shooter at Oxford High School breaks publicly, Jennifer Crumbley texts to her son: "Ethan, don't do it."

Parents walk their kids away from a parking lot where many students gathered after an active shooter situation at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., on Nov. 30. Police took a suspect into custody.
Parents walk their kids away from a parking lot where many students gathered after an active shooter situation at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., on Nov. 30. Police took a suspect into custody.

At 1:37 p.m., James Crumbley called 911, reporting that a gun was missing from his house and he believed his son may be the shooter. The gun purchased by James Crumbley on Nov. 26 had been stored unlocked in a drawer in the bedroom he shares with his wife. The gun recovered from the shooter at the school after the shooting was the same gun.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Oxford school shooting: Timeline of events before gunfire