The older half-brother of accused Oxford High School gunman Ethan Crumbley expressed his shock at the shooting that left four students dead – saying that he has always known the teen to be a quiet but happy kid with no violent tendencies.
“The Ethan I knew was just a smart boy who just seemed like an average kid,” Eli Crumbley, 18, told the Daily Mail on Wednesday. “There was nothing that ever stood out to me. He’d never get suspended from school — or detention.
“He didn’t suffer depression or anything like that. He woke up happy, went to school, came home and played games,” added the step-sibling, who shares the same father as Ethan.
Eli told the news outlet that he left Michigan to live with his biological mother in Florida, where he grew up, because of issues involving his relationship with his stepmother.
“It wasn’t as great as it could be. Moving back to Florida was the best option for me,” he said without elaborating.
Ethan was hit Wednesday with adult first-degree murder, terrorism and assault charges in the shooting rampage that left four students dead and injured seven others when he allegedly opened fire with a 9mm semiautomatic pistol that his father, James, bought on Black Friday, authorities said.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said she also was “considering charges against both parents.”
Investigators said they are still trying to determine a motive for the deadly shooting because Ethan isn’t speaking to them. However, some classmates have said the boy had been bullied, according to reports.
“I really don’t know what his reasoning was behind this,” Eli told the news outlet, adding that he was surprised to hear that bullying may have been a factor because Ethan was never picked on as a child.
“I would like to talk to him but I don’t think that’s something that’s going to happen for a while,” he said.
Eli said he reached out to his dad Tuesday night after hearing about the mass shooting.
“I was worried, I wanted to see if Ethan was OK because I knew he went there — and then that’s when I was receiving information otherwise,” he said, explaining that when he couldn’t locate his father he called a former employer who said the family’s home was surrounded by law enforcement.
He said he also was surprised to learn that his dad had bought the Sig Sauer handgun used in the bloodbath.
“I didn’t know he had a gun till after this happened. It’s still hard to believe. I can’t believe it,” Eli said.
The young man painted a picture of Ethan that is in stark contrast with the deadly violence he allegedly unleashed at the school.
“As far as I knew, Ethan was always good. He was just quiet, kept to himself, kept his circle of friends small. He was a clean kid, didn’t smoke or do drugs, nothing,” Eli told the Daily Mail.
“And he got good grades. He wanted to be an archeologist,” he continued. “When I was living there, nothing seemed off. We’d just walk to the bus stop in the morning, go to school, come home, maybe play some football outside or basketball. We’d just chill, wouldn’t do much.”
He said Ethan’s favorite pastime was playing video games at night – the favorite one being Minecraft.
The only recent problems Eli knew Ethan has experienced was losing an aunt a couple of months ago, as well as his dog, Tank.