The parents of a 15-year-old boy suspected of killing four and wounding seven in a school shooting in Oakland County, Michigan, are returning to face charges themselves of involuntary manslaughter.
The parents were suspected of evading authorities after police launched a manhunt and issued a BOLO, or be-on-the-lookout, alert for the couple’s black SUV on Friday. Authorities issued the alert after the county prosecutor charged each parent with four counts of involuntary manslaughter and Judge Julie Nicholson approved a warrant for their arrest.
The couple was set to be arraigned on Friday afternoon, and their attorneys had previously said that the couple had promised to appear in court and would not flee. The couple’s attorneys later said that they had lost contact with the couple, according to police.
The couple’s legal team released a statement on Friday afternoon saying that the couple was not missing, however, and had left town over concerns for their own safety in the wake of the shooting and charges brought against their son. The couple is traveling back to Oxford, Michigan, for their arraignment.
“The [couple] left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety,” the couple’s attorneys said in a statement to the Detroit Free Press. “On Thursday night we contacted the Oakland County prosecutor to discuss this matter and to advise her that [the couple] would be turning themselves in to be arraigned. Instead of communicating with us, the prosecutor held a press conference to announce charges.”
“The [couple] left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety. They are returning to the area to be arraigned. They are not fleeing from law enforcement despite recent comments in media reports,” the attorneys said.
The announcement of the charges and the warrant issued for the couple appeared to surprise police who had not been tracking the couple. Local and federal law enforcement began a manhunt for the couple after the charges were announced. As The Daily Wire reported:
Police are searching for the parents of the suspected Oxford High School shooter Friday after a county prosecutor issued charges against the couple on four counts of involuntary manslaughter following the deaths of four students and seven others who were injured on Tuesday.
Judge Julie Nicholson approved a warrant on Friday to take the couple into custody, according to WDIV-TV. The father and mother were scheduled to be arraigned at 4 p.m. local time on Friday but had not yet been apprehended, according to police reports.
In a press release, the Oakland County Sheriff’s department said that the attorney for their parents couldn’t reach them, according to WXYZ Detroit.
“We have our Fugitive Apprehension Team, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service and others actively looking for them and have every expectation we’ll have them in custody soon,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a press release, reports the news agency. “The action of fleeing and ignoring their attorney certainly adds weight to the charges. They cannot run from their part in this tragedy.”
The parents each face four criminal charges for involuntary manslaughter after reports that their son allegedly used a handgun purchased by the father as a gift for his son on Black Friday days before the shooting.