The parents of a 15-year-old boy accused of murdering four people and injuring seven others in a school shooting in Oakland County, Michigan, have returned to face involuntary manslaughter charges.
After police initiated a manhunt and issued a BOLO, or be-on-the-lookout, notice for the pair’s black SUV on Friday, the parents were accused of eluding authorities. Authorities issued the notice after the county prosecutor charged each parent with four counts of involuntary homicide and Judge Julie Nicholson issued a warrant for their arrests.
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.
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.