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Parents of Michigan school shooting suspect arrested in Detroit

Crumbley parents
Posted at 8:42 AM, Dec 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-04 08:44:52-05

DETROIT, MI — Police are now confirming that James and Jennifer Crumbley have been taken into custody on Detroit's east side. They were arrested near St. Paul and Concord.

According to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office, Detroit police received a 911 call from a business owner who saw the couple's car in his parking lot, on Bellevue near Jefferson in Detroit. He also reported seeing a woman near the car. She ran from the scene when he called 911.

During a news conference, Detroit Police Chief James White says there is video of one of the suspects going into the building. They were arrested in a room inside a commercial building in the area. White says they have information that the couple was helped in getting into the building and that will be part of the investigation. When asked, White says someone let them into the building and they did not break in.

White also says they have identified the person who helped them and that person will face charges. White says whatever those charges will be will be determined by the office of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

White also says the couple has been turned over to the Oakland County Sheriff's Department.

The couple was located after a search by DPD, which included K-9 units. They will be taken to the Oakland County Jail tonight, and are expected to be arraigned sometime after 9 a.m. in 52-3 District Court.

The revelation comes just hours after 7 Action News learned police found the car the parents of Ethan Crumbley may have been traveling in. The couple's black 2021 Kia Seltos SUV with the Michigan license plate number DQG 5203 was reportedly found in the 1100 block of Bellevue on the east side of Detroit.

The car was found about a block from where they were ultimately taken into custody.

A large police presence converged on the scene shortly before midnight on Friday, searching the area centered on E. Lafayette, between E. Grand Boulevard and Mt. Elliott. Word of the arrest was confirmed by the Oakland County Sheriff's office shortly before 3:00 a.m.

The confirmation came hours after that office said they were actively searching for the fugitive parents of the suspected 15-year-old shooter in the Oxford High School tragedy.

James Crumbley and Jennifer Crumbley are each facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter. The suspect's father purchased the gun that was used in the deadly school shooting.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Department's fugitive team, the FBI, and the U.S. Marshals Office were all involved in the search. The Marshals had offered a $10,000 reward for information in the case.

According to a press release from the Oakland County Sheriff's Office, the couple's attorney contacted detectives to say repeated attempts to contact them had gone unanswered.

“We have our Fugitive Apprehension Team, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service and others actively looking for them and have every expectation we’ll have them in custody soon,” Bouchard said in a press release. “The action of fleeing and ignoring their attorney certainly adds weight to the charges. They cannot run from their part in this tragedy.”

Shortly after the press release came out from the Oakland County Sheriff's Office, the attorneys representing the couple released the following statement:

On Thursday night we contacted the Oakland County prosecutor to discuss this matter and to advise her that James and Jennifer Crumbley would be turning themselves in to be arraigned. Instead of communicating with us, the prosecutor held a press conference to announce charges.

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

On Nov. 30, officials say the suspect, Ethan Crumbley, opened fire in the south end of the school shortly before 1 p.m., killing four people and injuring seven. Tate Myre, 16, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Hana St. Juliana, 14, and Justin Shilling, 17, lost their lives in the shooting.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald revealed Friday what happened in the days leading up to the deadly Oxford High School shooting as she announced charges against the suspected shooter’s parents on Friday afternoon.

James Crumbley and Jennifer Crumbley are each facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

McDonald revealed that the day prior to the shooting, the suspect was reportedly searching for ammunition on his phone in class – when a teacher noticed. A call and email reportedly went out to Jennifer about the incident, which were unanswered, according to the prosecutor.

The following day, the day of the shooting on Nov. 30, the prosecutor says the suspect was discovered drawing a disturbing note in class. The drawings reportedly worried the teacher. McDonald said the suspect had drawn a gun pointing at the words, “the thoughts won’t stop, help me” along with a drawing of a bullet with the words, “blood everywhere” and a drawing of a person who appeared to be shot twice near a laughing emoji and the words “my life is useless.”

It was then the prosecutor said the suspect was called into a meeting with his parents at the school. At that time, McDonald said the suspect had already altered parts of the drawing. The parents were reportedly advised to get counseling for their son within 48 hours.

It was after that meeting that the suspect returned to class. The prosecutor said the parents failed to ask the suspect if he had the gun with him and failed to check his backpack.

The prosecutor said around 1:22 p.m. that day, Jennifer texted her son, “Ethan, don’t do it.”

About 10 minutes later, James reportedly called 911 to report a gun missing from their home. It was stored in an unlocked drawer in their bedroom, McDonald said.