Andrzej Sikora Detroit artist identified as individual alleged to have helped Ethan Crumbley parents hide from cops after they were arrested at warehouse. Prosecutors investigate whether to bring charges forward.
‘They didn’t break in,’ Detroit Police Chief James White said. ‘Somebody let them in.’
Sikora has not been charged in the case, but authorities believe he gave the Crumbleys sanctuary as cops launched a manhunt for the couple after they failed to turn themselves Friday afternoon after being indicted on four counts of involuntary manslaughter earlier in the day.
The artist’s lawyer, Clarence Dass, told WJBK that his client ‘voluntarily contacted police after the Crumbleys were arrested and charged.’ Adding, ‘He maintains his innocence throughout this process and is fully cooperating with law enforcement to assist in their investigation’.
Investigators seek to determine artist connection to indicted parents
The lawyer said Sikora had a ‘friendly relationship’ with James and Jennifer Crumbley, but allegedly was clueless to the involuntary manslaughter charges brought against them on Friday — the same day the pair showed up to his workspace, he told The Associated Press.
The Detroit artist allowed the couple entrance after the pair said they feared ‘death threats’ against them after they were identified as the student gunman’s parents.
‘There was a lot of confusion and the Crumbleys went to him for safety,’ Dass told the news service.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said Saturday afternoon that his office was considering charging an unnamed person with aiding-and-abetting or obstruction of justice.
Bouchard described the place where the Crumbleys were found as ‘an art studio within that building that has multiple kinds of partitions if you will in that building,’ according to Detroit Free Press.
Offered Bouchard: ‘We believe they were assisted in that location, to get there, to get in, and we’re gathering that information and we’re going to have the totality of that done fairly soon and present that to our prosecutor for potential charges for either aiding and abetting or obstruction of justice. That will be a determination by our prosecutor at some point in the near future. That is a work in progress.’
Sikora was born in Zielona Gora, Poland, and moved to the U.S. in 1990, according to his website. He is known for his mural work in several private residences and businesses around the Detroit area.
Andrzej Sikora has talked to police about his involvement, his lawyer, Clarence Dass, said in a statement. https://t.co/FmYwJ13VCG
— Independent Voter Girly (@independentgrly) December 5, 2021
The artist was featured in an Oxford Leader article last month about his new mural at Red Knapp’s Dairy Bar. A photo of Sikora posing alongside it was credited to ‘Jehn Crumbley,’ aka Jennifer Crumbley who was a licensed Realtor until 2018 and also worked as a marketing director. The photo credit has since disappeared.
Police have yet to determine Sikora’s relationship with the gunman’s parents.
The manhunt for the Crumbleys was launched on Friday after Oakland County prosecutors issued an arrest warrant charging them with involuntary manslaughter.
Four students were killed and seven others wounded in Tuesday’s shooting — with authorities saying Ethan Crumbley used a 9 mm handgun his dad bought him.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said the 15-year-old’s parents met with school officails after two ‘disturbing’ incidents involving their son just hours before the shootings. The parents despite officials requests, refused to take the sophomore student home with them.
About three hours later, the tenth grader emerged from a school bathroom, opening gunfire in the school’s crowded hallway, authorities say.
The accused gunman’s parents were taken into custody by Detroit cops on Saturday and following an initial arraignment were ordered held on $500,000 bail each.
Ethan Crumbley is being held without bail on four counts of first-degree murder, terrorism and seven counts of assault with intent to commit murder.