Father of school shooter Crumbley found guilty of manslaughter for providing son gun access

James Crumbley, the father of school mass shooter Ethan Crumbley, was convicted Thursday on four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

As previously reported, on Nov. 30th, 2021, his then-15-year-old son opened fire at Oxford High School in Detroit, Michigan, killing four students and injuring seven people, including a teacher.

Following the shooting, it was learned that Crumbley had provided his son with access to the gun he’d used to commit the mass shooting. This was a key piece of evidence used in the case against him.

“Prosecutors in closing arguments Wednesday said James Crumbley was ‘grossly negligent’ because he bought the SIG Sauer 9mm gun for his son days before the attack, failed to properly secure it, ignored his son’s deteriorating mental health and did not take ‘reasonable care’ to prevent foreseeable danger,” according to CNN.

“James Crumbley is not on trial for what his son did,” Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney Karen McDonald reportedly said in court. “James Crumbley is on trial for what he did and what he didn’t do.”

“Four children are dead because of the gross negligence of the shooter’s parents. In Michigan, a parent has a legal duty and James Crumbley did not meet that duty,” she added.

The ruling comes a month after his wife, Jennifer Crumbley, was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. According to legal experts, the rulings against the Crumbleys could have massive repercussions.

“It’s a watershed moment for families and parents when it comes to guns,” legal expert Kim Wehle told ABC News’ Stephanie Ramos. “What both of these verdicts is saying is that the jury of these parents’ peers are holding them accountable for not essentially implementing at home what across the country and many states our legislators are not willing to do.”

“But I think that in respect to Mr. Crumbley here, the defense argument was he just didn’t know, he didn’t know his son was this dangerous. And I suspect the jurors saw through that. That’s not ok for a parent to have no idea that your child is on the verge of this kind of mass murder,” she added.


Speaking to reporters at a press conference following the reading of the verdict, the parents of the victims of the Oxford shooting three years ago praised the outcome but stressed that more still needs to be done to keep schoolchildren safe.

“Our children are dying on a daily basis in mass murders and we do very little about it,” Steve St. Juliana, the father of Hana St. Juliana, said, adding that mass shootings are the “number one killer of our kids, folks.”

Buck Myre, the father of Tate Myre, called for change amid what he described as “a mental health crisis.”

“This is a deep issue and it’s not going to be an easy one to solve,” he said. “The gun is just a tool, so we’ve got to look at other things other than the gun. We gotta see what we can do to support these kids better … we need to solve this because no parents should go through the hell we’re going through.”

Nicole Beausoleil, the mother of Madisyn Baldwin, suggested schools themselves should be held accountable.

“They are going to see these families rise up against it,” she said. “They are not allowed to forget.”

Dylan Morris, a survivor of the 2021 shooting and co-founder of the No Future Without Today gun violence prevention advocacy group, praised the verdict but called for electing “pro gun safety candidates” to office.

“Parents can and should be held responsible for their actions resulting in mass murder,” he said. “But I think it extends beyond this. We have to continue to advocate for reforms that prevent this in the first place.”

“I think after these… trials, we need to really focus on are the lives lost. We’re only going to prevent it nationally if we elect pro gun safety candidates to elected office. And if we also pressure people already existing in legislatures to get the job done,” he added.

Vivek Saxena


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