PONTIAC, Mich. (FOX 2) - The person who spotted a vehicle belonging to James and Jennifer Crumbley while they were on the run after the Oxford High School shooting testified Wednesday.
There was also testimony from the special response officer who helped apprehend the Crumbley parents, as well as a former detective who led the sheriff's search for James and Jennifer. He described the search that led them to the Crumbleys, who had fled after learning about the shooting.
Former Oakland County Sheriff's Office Det/Sgt. David Hendrick said he first checked local hotels for the Crumbley family's vehicles and located one of them at an Auburn Hills hotel on Dec. 3. However, the couple, who had been charged with involuntary manslaughter earlier that day by the prosecutor's office, were not there.
Later that night, an employee at a Detroit coffee supply company would lead investigators to the Crumbleys, who had taken refuge in a Detroit building.
Luke Kirtley, of Coffee House, said he had heard about the school shooting and the search for the parents.
He testified that when he got to his business, he used his key fob to enter a parking lot at the business. At the time, he noticed a car parked in the lot but did not give much attention to it.
When he left the company, he got a better view of the vehicle, which was parked at the back corner of the lot, and realized it looked like the vehicle police were looking for. It had been backed in with the license plate away from view.
"So I found the poster, and I was doing this as I was walking to the car and the time I had the poster up. I turned my flashlight on and walked around the back of the car on the driver's side to the back, and then obviously put two and two together, that that was the plate that was on the poster," Kirtley said.
When he approached the vehicle, he saw someone sitting on a curb near it. Kirtley said he didn't say anything, acted like he didn't see anyone, and walked back to the building, where he locked all the doors and called 911.
"I assumed after connecting the plate, that it was somebody related to the incident," he said. "That's a feeling you've never felt before."
Once authorities verified the vehicle was the one they were looking for, more investigators showed up, including Hendrick.
"It must have been 20 or 30 officers at that time," Kirtley said. "People came locked and loaded. There were a lot of guns."
Armed authorities entered the building and searched for the Crumbleys.
"As more officers arrived, we were able to gain access to the building. We formulated a plan to search the second and third floors of the building," Hendrick said. "It's a very slow, methodical process."
Meanwhile, Detroit police searched the first floor. That's where officers found the Crumbleys.
Police body camera footage shown in court captures the arrests of James and Jennifer. The couple were found in an art studio owned by an acquaintance. In the video, officers handcuff the Crumbleys and begin searching the room, which had a mattress in it.
Jennifer Crumbley being arrested in Detroit on Dec. 4, 2021.
"It can be quite noisy," Hendrick said, describing the process of searching an area for fugitives.
Both James and Jennifer Crumblery were found at approximately 1 a.m. Dec. 4. Hendrick and two other officers transported both of them into custody.