Ethan Crumbley was a quite but happy boy who avoided trouble and never exhibited violent tendencies, claims the half-brother of the alleged Oxford High School shooter, who killed four classmates and wounded seven others on Tuesday. Eli Crumbley, 18, who spoke to DailyMail.com, said that he still fails to understand what made him take this drastic step.
Crumbley, 15, was charged with four counts of murder, terrorism and other guns charges on Wednesday after he refused to speak to deputies during investigation. His booking photo was also released by Oakland County sheriff's office. However, the motive behind the gruesome murders still remains unclear.
A Different Person
Eli Crumbley told the DailyMail that his younger half-brother is otherwise a calm person who never showed any sign of violence earlier. He said that he is still shocked and confused how his own sibling could suddenly turn violent, open fire, and kill his classmates in Oxford High School on Tuesday.
"The Ethan I knew was just a smart boy who just seemed like an average kid," Eli Crumbley told the outlet in an interview on Wednesday. "There was nothing that ever stood out to me. He'd never get suspended from school, or detention," he added.
The elder half-brother also said that he had never seen any signs of depression in his brother and that he was always a happy boy. "He didn't suffer depression or anything like that. He woke up happy, went to school, came home and played games," he said.
That said, although Eli and Ethan grew up together, they two were recently separated. The older brother said that earlier this year there was some family turmoil that compelled him to abruptly move out in March. Since then he has been living with his biological mother in Florida.
"It mostly had to do with the relationship between my stepmother and I," Eli told the outlet. However, he didn't elaborate much except for saying, "It wasn't as great as it could be. Moving back to Florida was the best option for me."
Eli and Ethan have the same father, but different mothers. Originally from Florida, the two boys later moved to Michigan with their dad James Crumbley and his second wife, Ethan's mom, Jennifer.
Ethan Crumbley continued to live with his father James and mother Jennifer in Oxford, less than two miles from where he opened fire in Oxford High school. The teen used his father handgun in the shooting that was bought on Black Friday.
Police is still unable to find the exact motive behind the shooting. However, an investigation is still on. Eli said that he hadn't met or spoken with Ethan or his father in the past two months but called up James on Tuesday after hearing the news of a mass shooting.
"I was worried, I wanted to see if Ethan was okay because I knew he went there," said the elder half-brother, who also attended the school for a year. "And then that's when I was receiving information otherwise."
Unable to reach his dad, Eli first called a former employer who told him that his old house in Oxford was surrounded by FBI agents. He then learned that his own father bought the gun that Ethan used.