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Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley sentenced to life after addressing court: ‘I am a really bad person’

Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley addressed an Oakland County courtroom for the first time on Friday just before he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, two years after he fatally shot four students and injured seven others in November 2021.

Crumbley, then 15, walked into Oxford High School the morning of Nov. 30, 2021 with a gun in his backpack and killed 16-year-old Tate Myre, 16-year-old Justin Shilling, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana and 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin after meeting with school staff and his parents that same morning.

“I am a really bad person. I have done some terrible things. I have lied and I’m not trustworthy. I hurt many people,” Crumbley said Friday when given the opportunity to speak before the court after hearing from witnesses and victims.

He added that he wants his peers to “feel safe and secure,” and he is “sorry” for his actions. 


Crumbley pleaded guilty in October 2022 to 24 counts, including four counts of first-degree murder. Oakland County prosecutors argued during a Miller hearing that began on July 27 to determine whether the now-17-year-old can be sentenced to life in prison without parole — a consequence typically reserved for adult offenders.

“I can try my best in the future to help other people and that is what I will do,” Crumbley said. 

He also asked Judge Kwame Rowe to impose “any sentence” the victims have asked for him. Rowe did just that, sentencing the mass shooter to life without the possibility of parole on Friday afternoon.

In a notebook presented as evidence during a July 27 hearing, Crumbley wrote that he was “going to spend the rest of my life in prison rotting like a tomato.”


Parents walk away with their kids from the Meijer's parking lot in Oxford where many students gathered following an active shooter situation at Oxford High School in Oxford on November 30, 2021.

Judge Rowe agreed in September that Crumbley could face such a sentence for the shooting that devastated the Oxford, Michigan, community. On Friday, Rowe called Crumbley’s shooting “torture” and an “execution.” 

It is the first criminal case in the country when a defendant has been charged with and convicted of terrorism resulting from a mass shooting.

The victims’ family members spoke Friday and asked the judge for a life sentence without parole.

“Love is absent from our family because when you have no joy, you have no love,” Buck Myre, Tate Myre’s father, said. “Me and my wife are trying to figure out how to save our marriage, which is really sad because we didn’t do anything to each other.”

People embrace as they pay their respects at a memorial at Oxford High School, a day after a shooting that left four dead and eight injured, in Oxford, Michigan. Oxford Community Schools announced Monday that all classes would be canceled Tuesday after a threat to a middle school.

Madisyn Baldwin’s mom, Nicole Beausoleil, told Crumbley directly that his “suffering will come” when he “least expects it.”

“As you get older, you will realize the path you’ve chosen, and it will haunt you,” she said before the courtroom.

Craig Shilling, father of Justin Shilling, told Crumbley that his son, an organ donor, saved five lives after he was fatally shot.

“As long as there are good people in the world … evil will never triumph,” he said.

Reina St. Juliana, Hana St. Juliana’s older sister, read her mother’s testimony and her own testimony aloud in the courtroom Friday.

This images shows the four victims of the November 2021 Oxford High School shooting.

Reina said she does not hear her sister’s footsteps coming up the stairs anymore or see the bright lights on in her bedroom. The “empty seat at the dining table is the loudest noise” she has “ever heard.” Instead of helping do her sister’s hair for a lacrosse game, she was “curling her hair for a casket,” Reina said Friday.

“There is no justice that will ever be enough,” she told the court.

Attorney Ven Johnson, who is representing multiple families in lawsuits against Crumbley and his parents, said Friday’s judgment “signifies a pivotal step towards justice” for victims and survivors who were “forever changed by the abhorrent actions of the shooter during the Oxford High School shooting — an incident that should have been prevented by those entrusted to protect these children.”


“Despite the two-year delay, the gravity of the situation endures, and this sentencing is a crucial stride towards accountability. We wholeheartedly support Judge Kwame Rowe’s decision to condemn him to life in prison without parole,” Johnson said. “Our dedication to pursuing justice stands resolute — our work to keep Oxford Community Schools and various OCS employees accountable will persist.” 

Ethan Crumbley, Jennifer Crumbley and James Crumbley mugshots

Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said during the Miller hearing in July that video footage showed Crumbley walking up to the victims and shooting them “at point-blank range” in the middle of the school’s hallways.

“There was extensive planning, and … we hear that he put toilet paper in his ears to protect his hearing before the shooting,” McDonald said in July. “He researched and knew what kind of weapon he needed, and the one his parents already had for him was not going to do the job, so he advocated for a higher-power firearm with more deadly bullets. He practices. He went to the shooting range.”

Crumbley’s defense attorney, meanwhile, argued that Crumbley had shown signs of severe mental illness years prior to the shooting, and neither his parents nor school officials did anything to help him. They also argued that he has the potential to be rehabilitated, saying he has participated in therapy every day and is taking medication by his own choice.

“We are all here because of me today. Because of what I did,” Crumbley said at the end of Friday’s proceedings, adding that he “could not stop” himself. The now-17-year old also said his parents are not to blame because they “did not know,” and Crumbley did not “tell them” what he planned to do.

Crumbley’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter after allegedly purchasing a firearm for their son. Jennifer Crumbley said in a social media post that the gun was a Christmas present for their son. Their cases have since been separated, and their trials are set to begin in January.

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