James Crumbley trial: ATF agent testifies about 3 guns in home, where they were kept

The involuntary manslaughter trial for James Crumbley, father of the Oxford High School shooter, continued Monday with testimony from an ATF special agent who was assigned to the case, Brett Brandon.

He testified about the weapons that James Crumbley owned and the science and makeup of the weapons, including where they were found and kept in the home. 

The three guns that Brandon testified that Crumbley owned were: 

  • Cobra Derringer Classic
  • KelTec P17
  • SIG Sauer

The Derringer and the KelTec were purchased in June 2021, Brandon said. The SIG Sauer was purchased in November 2021 and is the weapon that James Crumbley’s son used during the school shooting. 

All guns are semi-automatic, meaning that when the trigger is pulled, one bullet comes out. 

But where the guns differ is the size of rounds they take. A "round" of ammunition is what’s inserted into the gun before it’s fired and the subsequent bullet comes out. 

Brandon testified that the SIG Sauer takes 9mm rounds while the other two guns take .22 ammunition.

"The 9mm is going to be a wider round, so … it means the 9mm round is bigger and based on the size of the round, it’s going to be heavier. So the damage from that round would be more than a .22 round," he said. 

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Where the guns were kept in the Crumbley home

Brandon also testified about where the guns were found in the home after the shooting, except for the SIG Sauer which had been taken to the school by their son. 

One smaller case was found in a kitchen cabinet. The Derringer and KelTec were found inside a safe in the Crumbleys bedroom that used a code of 0-0-0 at the time, Brandon testified. 

Another case was found in the home, empty, on top of the bed in the Crumbleys’ bedroom, which Brandon said was the pistol case that would have come with the SIG Sauer. 

A cable lock would also have come with the purchase of the SIG Sauer, provided by the manufacturer, he later said, which was found in the smaller gun case that agents found in the kitchen. 

Brandon said he later discovered a youth safety pamphlet from the ATF behind the gun’s foam padding alongside the receipt. The pamphlet is included to inform the buyer that juvenile gun violence is a problem and that securing your gun can prevent that, Brandon explained.

"When I lifted up the foam and saw the pamphlet in there, I was shocked," he said. "As the pamphlet says on the front, it says, Youth Handgun Safety Act Notice. It means they were on notice - they had to pick this up and move it to the back of that gun case and basically discard it under the foam."

RELATED: James Crumbley trial: School officials testify dad ‘expressed concern’ for his son

School shooter video

During his testimony, Brandon said three things stuck out to him when he saw video of the shooting inside the school.

  • The shooter's stance
  • His reloading
  • Where he placed the magazin

Brandon explained that the three things stood out to him for different reasons.

"The first was the stance that the shooter took for the shot that killed Tate (Myre). I noticed that he had had some type of firearms training. It appeared to me that he did. I remember remarking to the people in the room at the time that that's what I thought he had taken, what we referred to as a shooter stance, his shoulder to roll forward his feet were spread," Brandon said.

He testified that told him that the shooter had ‘some level’ of proficiency with guns or training.

But that's not all. 

Brandon noticed that the way the shooter reloaded his weapon indicated he was ready to keep firing. He said the shooter, altering emptying one magazine, loaded a second one and then fired several rounds. He then ejected that magazine before it was empty and pocketed the magazine while reloading another magazine. As Brandon explained, that seemed to be a tactical move.

"The way we're trained, at least for for law enforcement shootings, is that if you're involved in an incident, you always want to have as much ammunition as possible. So if you have a brief moment where the gunfire, there's a lull in the gunfire during a gunfight, would be to eject your partially-loaded magazine instead of full one, but not to throw it on the ground and keep it for later in case you need it," he said.

The last thing was the way that the shooter reacted when confronted - and where he put the magazine from his gun.

"When the shooter came out of the bathroom and surrendered to law enforcement prior to them coming down the hallway, he took the magazine out of the firearm and made it forgotten or didn't rack out of the chambers that were still around the chamber. I believe, when he took the magazine out and placed it on top of the trash bin, which I found unique, not something that someone would do if they had just committed a mass shooting," he said.

Under cross-examination, defense attorney Mariell Lehman questioned Brandon about the stance and if it is something has a firearm in the home should train other adults or older children how to use it. Brandon said that would be a personal choice.

"I think that's obviously a personal decision and it's not something covered by federal law that you're required to do that. I think some people may choose to not do that and just keep them away from their kids and out of view. But, you know, like I said, that's not something I can speak to," he said.