image of oxford high school where school shooting was

Adrienne of Oxford/Wikimedia

Instagram believed to belong to alleged Oxford gunman showed off possible murder weapon days before shooting

The screenshots are floating around the internet.


David Covucci


Claire Goforth


Posted on Dec 1, 2021   Updated on Dec 2, 2021, 10:34 am CST

Numerous users on Twitter and Reddit are claiming that the Instagram page of the alleged Oxford High School shooter showed the gun believed to have been used in the massacre in Michigan.

On Wednesday, police identified the person who killed four and wounded seven when he opened fire yesterday as Ethan Crumbley, a 15-year-old sophomore who was arrested after the killings.

There are several screenshots circulating online that believe to have come from Crumbley’s Instagram account. None of the viral screenshots are verifiable, as social media companies have deleted the profiles. Tech companies like Google and Facebook (which own YouTube and Instagram respectively) tend to delete accounts almost immediately when names associated with shooters leak into the public.

One screenshot stands out: a photo of a person believed to be Crumbley holding a handgun. The caption on the post says the weapon is a 9mm Sig Sauer. “Just got my new beauty today,” it also states. Authorities say that the Crumbley used a 9mm Sig Sauer, ABC News reports. The report notes that his father purchased the weapon on Friday.

If the screenshot is authentic, this could be the weapon used in the slayings.

Other social media users claim that Crumbley posted a countdown on his Instagram stories. The countdown ended the day of the killings. The name on the unverified post matches his, but there are conflicting reports about what his Instagram handle was and several people who appear to be imposters have recently created Instagram accounts.

The Daily Dot was unable to identify the veracity of the countdown post.

On the purported Instagram story, which seems to have first been posted by a TikTok user flagging it, an image appeared that said: “Return of the Devil” with a little over nine hours showing on the countdown clock. It also referenced a “deer head.”

The video on TikTok is no longer available, but the user who posted it said “we r okay. i tried to make a tik tok but it got taken out,” implying that she is a student at Oxford. The Daily Dot has tried to reach out to the TikToker to verify her posts.

The deer head that’s mentioned in the Instagram story appears to reference a recent incident at Oxford High School. According to the New York Times, a severed deer head was found on campus. Oxford police told the Times that it was unrelated to the shooting.

There are also reports that students and parents had grown fearful in recent weeks that something bad was going to happen at the school based in part on social media posts.

Earlier in November, Oxford put out a statement to parents about unspecified “concerns and rumors.”

“Please know that we have reviewed every concern shared with us and investigated all information provided,” says the notice, which is still available on the school’s website. “Student interpretations of social media posts and false information have exacerbated the overall concern. We want our parents and students to know there has been no threat to our building nor our students.”

It appears they were referencing posts different from the countdown.

According to Philip Lewis of HuffPost, Crumbley’s school officials flagged Crumbley for “concerning” behavior in the classroom. “His parents brought him to school for a face-to-face meeting about their son’s behavior the morning of the Oxford High School shooting,” Lewis tweeted Wednesday.

A journalist at Mid-Michigan NOW tweeted that a parent told her that there was a rumor on social media that “something was going to happen.” She said the parent told her that “her son begged to stay home today from school.”

In similar posts, several Twitter users said they found YouTube comments on several gun videos that claim to be Crumbley saying he has a similar weapon and plans to use it.

Crumbley is being charged as an adult for the shooting. The charges include four counts of first-degree murder, one count of terrorism causing death, and several other charges.

Google and Facebook did not respond to inquires from the Daily Dot.

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*First Published: Dec 1, 2021, 3:28 pm CST