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I-TEAM: Suspected Michigan school shooter’s parents lived, worked, were arrested in Jacksonville

The parents of 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, who could both face charges related to the Michigan high school shooting, used to live and work in Jacksonville.

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – The parents of 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, who could both face charges related to the Michigan high school shooting, used to live and work in Jacksonville.

Crumbley faces several charges including murder and terrorism. Police in the community outside of Detroit said he killed four classmates Tuesday and injured several more.

Investigators said they met with school leaders the day of the shooting after people raised concerns about the potential for violence. For some reason, he was allowed to return to class. Detectives said they learned his father bought the gun used in the attack days earlier on Black Friday.

Prosecutors said the parents could face charges soon, potentially by the end of this week.

“With the right of owning a gun comes responsibility and the responsibility of a gun owner is to secure that weapon and to keep it out of the hands of somebody who could kill people,” said prosecutor Karen McDonald.

RELATED: Prosecutor: Gun was ‘freely available’ to Michigan shooter | EXPLAINER: Why was Michigan suspect charged with terrorism?

The News4JAX I-TEAM found that Crumbley’s parents actually have several ties to the Jacksonville area. His father James, for example, grew up at the beaches. He went to Fletcher High School from 1990 to 1994, according to his LinkedIn page. James Crumbley worked in the area and has an arrest record in the area.

Duval County Clerk of Court records show he was arrested for DUI in 2005, then driving on a suspended license. That’s a year before Ethan Crumbley was born. In 1995, the father was accused of check fraud. None of the crimes involved guns.

The teen’s mother, Jennifer Sawdon Crumbley, was arrested for DUI on the same day as her husband in 2005 as well as driving with a suspended license and check fraud in 2003. Like her husband’s cases, the charges did not involve guns. They both worked in business development and marketing before moving to Washington state and Michigan.

News4JAX went by their last known address in Atlantic Beach. The resident who moved in after him said he got their mail, but didn’t know them personally. He said his wife made the connection after seeing the news.

Now, the world is asking how the suspected shooter got his hands on the gun and why he wanted to kill his classmates. Many are calling on his parents to be arrested.

“We can provide all the training and put up metal detectors and try to flag behaviors that are concerning in children,” said prosecutor McDonald. “But at the end of the day, if we don’t make gun owners responsible for their possession, which most people who own guns do and are in favor of, we all should be responsible. Because if that had be done here, four children would still be here. A community wouldn’t be terrorized and several other children wouldn’t be injured.”


About the Author:

Lifetime Jacksonville resident anchors the 8 and 9 a.m. weekday newscasts and is part of the News4Jax I-Team.