The parents charged in connection with this week’s murderous Oxford High School shooting in Michigan were captured early Saturday after a search for several hours after they failed to surrender for their arraignment scheduled for Friday after- noon, according to law enforcement officials.
James and Jennifer Crumbley’s attorney had said they were heading back to town for their arraignment after detectives announced they were trying to locate the couple. But the duo were still missing on Friday night. The US Marshals Service joined in the search.
The couple were arrested by the Detroit Police Department when a business owner called 911 after spotting the suspects’ car in their parking lot and Jennifer Crumbley standing next to it, according to the County Sheriff’s Office. Oakland. She fled the neighborhood on foot, but the couple were located in a commercial building after a thorough search of the neighborhood. They were taken into custody “without incident,” Detroit Police Chief James White told a 3 a.m. press conference and were unarmed.
White said the duo were “helped into the building” and charges could be laid against the person who let them in. He also said it was “very likely” that they were trying to flee to Canada.
They are expected to be brought to justice later Saturday morning.
Marshals’ service announced a reward up to $ 10,000 for information leading to their arrest.
The parents were each charged with four counts of manslaughter on Friday. Their son, Ethan Crumbley, 15, allegedly used his father’s semi-automatic handgun in Tuesday’s shooting that left four dead and seven injured.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said the Crumbleys’ attorney would arrange for their arrest if charges were issued, and when the warrants were issued on Friday, “detectives immediately decided to arrest the couple, ”the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said.
The lawyer told police “she made several attempts to reach them by phone and text message without success,” the sheriff’s office said.
Bouchard said: “Running away and ignoring their lawyer certainly adds weight to the charges. They cannot shirk their role in this tragedy.”
Lawyers for the couple then said in a statement: “The Crumbleys left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety. They are returning to the area to be brought to justice. They are not fleeing law enforcement. . “
In response to the statement from attorneys for Jennifer and James Crumbley, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said it was not aware the couple were returning for trial.
“If they are, it’s news for us,” Deputy Sheriff Mike McCabe told ABC News, saying authorities still do not know the couple’s whereabouts.
Earlier on Friday, Oakland County District Attorney Karen McDonald at a press conference described an alarming and violent note that Ethan Crumbley allegedly wrote hours before the shooting that prompted his parents to be called to school. She also underscored the importance of responsible gun ownership.
“While the shooter was the one who walked into the high school and pulled the trigger, there are other people who contributed to that, to the events of November 30, and I intend to hold them for. responsible, ”said McDonald.
Ethan Crumbley was with his father when he purchased the Sig Sauer 9mm pistol on November 26, McDonald said. The teenager posted photos of the weapon on social media, writing: “I just got my new beauty today,” she said. Jennifer Crumbley also posted online about testing the gun with her son, McDonald said.
A teacher saw Ethan Crumbley searching for ammunition in the classroom days before the shooting, the prosecutor said. School officials contacted his parents, but they did not respond, McDonald said. However, according to the prosecutor, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, writing, “lol, I’m not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught.”
According to McDonald’s, on the morning of Tuesday’s shooting, Ethan Crumbley’s teacher saw an alarming note on his desk. McDonald described the note as “a drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointing to the words“ Thoughts will not stop, help me. ”In another section of the note, there was a drawing of ‘a bullet with the following words on top of that bullet,’ Blood everywhere. ‘”
“Between the drawing of the weapon and the bullet, there is a drawing of a person who appears to have been shot twice and bleeding,” she said. “Below this figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji. Further down in the drawing is the words ‘My life is useless’ and to the right of that is the words ‘The world is dead.'”
Ethan Crumbley was taken out of class and his parents called to school, McDonald said. By the time a counselor obtained the drawing, the teenager allegedly altered it, McDonald said.
“At the meeting, James and Jennifer Crumbley saw the drawing and were told they had to ask their son for a consultation within 48 hours,” she said. “James and Jennifer Crumbley did not ask their son if he had his gun with him or where his gun was and did not inspect his backpack for the presence of the gun, which he had with him. him.”
The parents left school while Ethan Crumbley returned to class, presumably with the gun in his backpack, McDonald said.
After news of a school shooting broke, McDonald’s said Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, “Ethan, don’t do it.”
James Crumbley called 911 to report that a gun was missing from his house and said he believed his son could be the shooter, McDonald said.
Authorities determined that James Crumbley’s semi-automatic handgun was stored unlocked in a drawer in his bedroom, McDonald said.
McDonald said manslaughter is “the strongest charge we can prove” against the suspect’s parents.
“These charges are meant to hold those who contributed to this tragedy to account and to send the message that gun owners have a responsibility. When they fail to respect that responsibility, there are serious and criminal consequences. “she said.
Ethan Crumbley has been indicted as an adult on one count of terrorism causing death; four counts of first degree murder; seven counts of assault with intent to kill; and 11 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
A judge pleaded not guilty for Ethan Crumbley on Wednesday. His next court appearance is scheduled for December 13.