His lawyer said Sunday that the Detroit-based artist, whose studio was located where the parents of an Oxford high school student accused of the fatal shooting were found by police, is cooperating with the authorities and is unaware that the couple stayed overnight.
James and Jennifer Crumbley, who are facing manslaughter, were discovered early Saturday in a Detroit commercial building. The couple’s lawyers said they had no intention of fleeing, countering authorities who accused them of evading capture for their alleged role in the school shooting that killed four students. Their 15-year-old son Ethan Crumbley was charged with murder, terrorism and other crimes as an adult.
WATCH: How Michigan Teachers Teach Students About School Shooting in Oxford
According to lawyer Clarence Dass, the couple went to artist Andrzej Sikora’s studio in a downtown building on Friday morning, but the artist was unaware of the pair’s charges or that they stayed there after he left for the day. He said Sikora had “friendly relations” with Crumbly, but declined to provide details, citing an active investigation.
Dass said that when the artist woke up on Saturday and heard the news that the couple had been taken into custody by the authorities, he voluntarily contacted the authorities. Authorities have been looking for the couple since Friday afternoon.
“There was a lot of confusion and Crumbly approached him seeking safety. He didn’t know about the charges, ”Dass said. “They were there during the day. He left early in the evening. He didn’t even know they were still there. “
Sikora, 65, has not been charged, but Detroit police said Crumbly “helped break into the building,” and that the person who helped them could face charges as well. Detroit police received no further information Sunday.
Oakland County Sheriff’s Superintendent Michael McCabe confirmed Sunday that Sikora’s lawyer had reached out to him. McCabe said in a press release that authorities will give an interview to Sikora on Monday afternoon.
According to Dass, Sykora, a Polish-American artist who lives in Auckland County, has been living in the country for many years. His work, mostly murals, can be found in the Detroit area, including on homes and businesses.
Six students and a teacher were also injured in Tuesday’s shooting at Oxford High School, about 30 miles (50 km) north of Detroit.
On Friday, Oakland County Attorney’s Office Karen MacDonald made the rare decision to bring proceedings against Ethan Crumbley’s parents. The prosecutor’s office accused them of not intervening on the day of the shooting, despite the fact that a terrible message was found on their son’s desk – “there is blood everywhere.” Each of them faces up to 15 years in prison.
MacDonald argued that the Crumbley committed “egregious” acts ranging from buying a gun on Black Friday and giving his son to resisting his expulsion from school when they were called hours before Tuesday’s shooting.
Crumbley’s defense lawyers argued that they never intended to flee and planned to meet with their lawyers on Saturday morning.
School district officials said a third party would be investigating the events at Oxford High School that occurred prior to the shooting. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said Sunday her office could investigate.