A timeline of the Oxford High School shooting: Black Friday gun shopping, violent drawings, and a manhunt… Four students were killed and several others injured when a gunman opened fire at Oxford High School in Michigan on November 30.
Police said the sole suspect is 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, a student at the school. He was charged as an adult with four counts of first-degree murder and a terrorism-related charge, among others.
The boy’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were charged with four counts each of involuntary manslaughter. They have pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors said there is a “mountain of digital evidence,” including photos taken of a gun purchased days before the shooting and social media posts. They have also cited text messages and disturbing drawings and notes as evidence in the investigation.
“While the shooter was the one who entered the high school and pulled the trigger, there are other individuals who contributed to the events on Nov. 30, and it’s my intention to hold them accountable as well,” Karen McDonald, the Oakland County prosecutor, said Friday. “It’s imperative we prevent this from happening again. No other parent or community should have to live through this nightmare.”
Insider has constructed a timeline of relevant moments in the case, based on accounts from authorities, the school, and lawyers for those involved.
November 26: James Crumbley bought the gun as a gift for his son, prosecutors say
James Crumbley bought a SIG Sauer 9-millimeter model SP2022, a semiautomatic handgun, from a local gun shop with his son by his side on, McDonald said, adding that the gun was the same one used in the shooting.
Ethan Crumbley shared photos of the gun in since-deleted social media posts, along with the caption “Just got my new beauty today,” according to McDonald. She also said Jennifer Crumbley posted on social media about taking her son to the shooting range shortly after the gun was purchased, writing: “Mom and son day, testing out his new Christmas present.”
The police investigation after the shooting found the gun had been stored in an unlocked drawer in James and Jennifer Crumbley’s room, McDonald said. At the Crumbleys’ arraignment on Saturday, their lawyers, Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman, disputed that and said the gun was kept locked away.
November 29: A teacher saw Ethan Crumbley searching for ammo online
The day before the shooting, a teacher reported to school officials that Ethan Crumbley was searching for ammunition on his phone during class, prosecutors said.
The school said it called Jennifer Crumbley and left her a voicemail and email, but did not hear back from either of the boy’s parents. But prosecutors said Jennifer Crumbley and her son texted about it, with her saying: “LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.”
November 30, morning: A teacher spotted violent drawings on Ethan Crumbley’s desk and his parents were called in
The morning of the shooting, a teacher spotted an alarming note on Ethan Crumbley’s desk, prosecutors said. She took a photo of it and alerted school officials, who proceeded to pull him out of class and call his parents in to meet with them.
The note included a drawing of a handgun pointed at the words: “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.” There was also a drawing of a bullet with the words: “Blood everywhere.”
“Between the drawing of the gun and the bullet is a drawing of a person who appears to have been shot twice and bleeding,” McDonald said. “Below that figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji.”
The words “My life is useless” and “The world is dead” were also on the note.
McDonald said school officials told the Crumbleys they needed to get their son into counseling within two days and that the school asked them to bring him home for the day but they refused. She also said the Crumbleys did not mention the gun to school officials or ask Ethan Crumbley if he had it with him.
After his parents left, Ethan Crumbley was allowed to return to class.
Superintendent Tim Throne later said the boy told school counselors the drawings were for a video game he was designing and that he wanted to make video games for a living.
November 30, about 12:50 p.m.: A gunman opened fire at the school
Sometime after the meeting, police began receiving 911 calls about the shooting. Authorities said the suspect came out of a bathroom and began shooting at students in the hallway, apparently at random, according to security footage. The suspect was taken into custody within five minutes of the first emergency call and did not resist, police said.
Three students died the day of the shooting: Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Madisyn Baldwin, 17. Justin Shilling, 17, died a day later from his injuries.
November 30, 1:22 p.m.: Jennifer Crumbley texted her son saying ‘don’t do it’
When reports of the shooting emerged, Jennifer Crumbley sent a text to her son, according to prosecutors: “Ethan, don’t do it.”
November 30, 1:37 p.m.: James Crumbley calls 911 to report a gun missing
When James Crumbley heard about the shooting, he rushed home to check for the gun, prosecutors said. He then called 911 to report a gun missing from his home and said he believed his son might be the shooter.
December 1: Ethan Crumbley is publicly identified and charged
The day after the shooting, police identified Ethan Crumbley as the sole suspect. He was charged with 24 felony counts: four counts of first-degree murder, one count of terrorism causing death, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, and 12 counts of firearm possession while committing a felony.
December 3: James and Jennifer Crumbley are charged with involuntary manslaughter
Prosecutors announced Friday morning they were taking a rare step and charging James and Jennifer Crumbly in relation to the shooting. The Crumbleys were charged with four counts each of involuntary manslaughter.
“I want to be really clear that these charges are intended to hold the individuals who contributed to this tragedy accountable, and also send the message that gun owners have a responsibility,” McDonald said at a press conference where she detailed all the incidents that led to the charges. “When they fail to uphold that responsibility, there are serious and criminal consequences.”
December 3, late afternoon: The Crumbleys did not appear in court and were labeled fugitives, setting off an hours-long manhunt
The Crumbleys did not appear for their arraignment Friday afternoon, prompting the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office to label them fugitives.
The sheriff’s office, the FBI, and the US Marshals, including their Fugitive Apprehension Team, engaged in a search that lasted the rest of the day. The US Marshals also offered a $10,000 reward for information on the Crumbleys.
In a statement provided to Insider, the Crumbleys lawyers, Smith and Lehman, denied their clients were on the run or hiding.
December 4, early morning: The Crumbleys were found after a tip from a citizen and were arrested
The Crumbleys were found and arrested early Saturday morning after a citizen spotted their car, recognizing it from alerts issued by police, and contacted authorities.
Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement to Insider that the Crumbleys were found in a commercial building in the 1100 block of Bellevue near Jefferson Avenue in Detroit.
Police said they appeared to be hiding in the basement of the building. They also said they were investigating if someone was helping hide them, and that in theory, such a person could face charges.
Lawyer Clarence Dass told Insider on Sunday that his client, Detroit artist Andrzej Sikora, was the person of interest linked to the building in which the Crumbleys were found.
Dass said Sikora was friends with the Crumbleys and unaware of any charges against them. When he learned they were arrested, he contacted police to cooperate in the investigation.
December 4: The Crumbleys pleaded not guilty and are held on $500,000 bond each
The Crumbleys were arraigned later on Saturday. They pleaded not guilty and the judge set their bond at $500,000 over concerns they could be flight risks.
During the arraignment, the Crumbleys’ lawyers again disputed reports that their clients were trying to evade the law.
“Our clients were absolutely going to turn themselves in,” Smith said, blaming miscommunication from the prosecutor and logistical issues for their failure to appear in court a day prior.
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