Sheriff: Police looking to charge person who allegedly helped hide parents of suspected school shooter
Police are looking to charge a person who assisted in hiding the parents of the suspected Michigan school shooter.
James and Jennifer Crumbley were arrested inside a Detroit art studio at 1:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told reporters at a press conference later that day. A witness called the police after seeing their car parked outside, he said, adding that someone had let them into the building.
“We believe they were assisted in that location to get there, to get in,” Bouchard said, saying the prosecutors could charge the individual who allegedly assisted them with aiding and abetting or obstruction of justice.
Jennifer and James Crumbley reportedly fled on Friday before they were arrested by police. Defense attorneys for the couple have argued they were going to turn themselves in before the arraignment.
Bouchard said some communication that the parents were going to turn themselves in was received, but that police “don’t wait for that.”
“When we have serious charges like felonies, you can turn yourself in … but we’re going to go look for you immediately,” he said. “To us that’s irrelevant, we’re looking for them. If they show up, fine. But we’re not going to sit on the front desk and tap our fingers until they come in.”
Bouchard said there are still questions as to why the parents were in Detroit and inside a commercial building. Oakland County Prosector Karen McDonald said the couple took out $4,000 before they fled.
Bouchard said more charges could be filed in relation to the Crumbleys’ attempt to evade arrest, but he was not aware at the time of the press conference of any decision to bring such charges.
The Crumbleys and their 15-year-old son, Ethan Crumbley, have all been detained in Oakland County Jail. The teenager is accused of killing four classmates at Oxford High School on Tuesday and wounding seven other people. During the shooting, he used a 9mm Sig Saeur handgun that his parents had purchased.
James and Jennifer Crumbley allegedly bought the handgun for their son as a Christmas present, which Jennifer posted about on social media. The couple are also accused of ignoring warning signs, including drawings Ethan Crumbley made in class depicting a handgun and people being shot. The teenager had also allegedly researched ammunition in class, which the school made his parents aware of prior to the shooting, according to McDonald.
James and Jennifer Crumbley pleaded not guilty to four counts of involuntary manslaughter on Saturday morning. Ethan Crumbley faces a slew of felony charges, including a count of terrorism.
Bouchard said he was working “hand in glove” with McDonald and the prosecution team on all three cases. In Ethan’s case, they have a clear path to prosecution, he added.
“We have clear evidence that this was pre-meditated and that [Ethan] was actually looking forward to it,” the sheriff said of the shooting.