PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — The parents of a teen accused of killing four students in a shooting at a Michigan high school were caught early Saturday, several hours after a prosecutor filed involuntary manslaughter charges against them, officials said.
James and Jennifer Crumbley were captured in a commercial building in Detroit that housed artwork, Detroit Police Chief James E. White told a news conference. White said the couple “were aided in getting into the building,” and that a person who helped them may also face charges.
A Detroit business owner spotted a car tied to the Crumbleys in his parking lot late Friday, Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe said in a statement. A woman seen near the vehicle ran away when the business owner called 911, McCabe said. The couple was later located and arrested by Detroit police.
A prosecutor filed involuntary manslaughter charges against the Crumbleys on Friday, accusing them of failing to intervene on the day of the tragedy despite being confronted with a drawing and chilling message — “blood everywhere” — that was found at the boy’s desk.
The Crumbleys committed “egregious” acts, from buying a gun on Black Friday and making it available to Ethan Crumbley to resisting his removal from school when they were summoned a few hours before the shooting, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said.
Authorities had been looking for the couple since Friday afternoon. Late Friday, U.S. Marshals announced a reward of up to $10,000 each for information leading to their arrests.
The Crumbley’s attorney, Shannon Smith, said the pair had left town earlier in the week “for their own safety.” Smith told The Associated Press they would be returning to Oxford to be arraigned.
However, White said the Crumbleys “appeared to be hiding” in the building where they were found. He added that the parents appeared to be “distressed” when they were captured.
“Head down… just very upset,” he said of one of the parents.
The couple was expected to be booked into the Oakland County Jail, McCabe said.
Earlier, the prosecutor offered the most precise account so far of the events that led to the shooting at Oxford High School, roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit.
Under Michigan law, the involuntary manslaughter charge filed against the parents can be pursued if authorities believe someone contributed to a situation where there was a high chance of harm or death.
Parents in the U.S. are rarely charged in school shootings involving their children, even as most minors get guns from a parent or relative’s house, according to experts.
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