UPDATE: Photos of James and Jennifer Crumbley getting arrested an an attorney storage warehouse in Detroit early Saturday morning. pic.twitter.com/bsxkjWmUiD
— Jessica Dupnack (@JDupnackFOX2) December 5, 2021
At around 1:45 am Saturday morning, officers of the Detroit Police Department located and arrested the parents (James and Jennifer Crumbley) of the boy (Ethan Crumbley) accused of killing four students and wounding seven others at Michigan's Oxford High School on Tuesday, November 30. An investigation of the mass killing soon revealed that on Black Friday the boy had tagged along with his father as he purchased the weapon used in "the seventh major school shooting in Michigan since 1978", a 9 mm Sig Sauer SP2022 semiautomatic pistol. (Some reports claim it was a Christmas present to the boy.)
Three days later, a teacher caught young Crumbley looking for ammo on his phone while in class. The school attempted to contact the mother about the incident, but she, a gun-loving Trump supporter, did not respond to them. Instead, she texted this to her boy: "LOL I’m not mad. You have to learn not to get caught.” Not long after that, America, the land of so many negative freedoms, sent its prayers and thoughts to Oxford High School.
On Wednesday, December 1, the boy was charged as an adult with multiple counts of first-degree murder and assault. On Friday, December 3, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald charged each of his parents with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. But James and Jennifer Crumbley were nowhere to be found for the arraignment of these charges. This ignited a Michigan-wide manhunt that concluded in a building that is suspiciously near the Canadian border.
Police say someone helped James and Jennifer Crumbley hide in a warehouse in Detroit when police were searching for them Friday. The person of interest has identified themselves, and say they are innocent. https://t.co/8kBMgHqGfO
— Local 4 WDIV Detroit (@Local4News) December 5, 2021
Not long after the arrests, Detroit Police Chief James White told reporters that "[the two] appeared to be hiding in the building", and Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard explained that the person "who guided the Crumbleys" into the building might face "charges for either aiding and abetting or obstruction of justice".
One piece of information worth mentioning before concluding the narrative section of this post: While being hunted by US Marshals, the two reportedly withdrew $4,000 from an ATM. So, you have money in the pocket and a border nearby. Not looking good.
But what about the building itself? It was not just standing there. It didn't come out of nowhere. It deserves our attention and, as we shall see in a moment, our appreciation.
As Minnah Arshad of the Detroit Free Press pointed out in a December 4 post, this building has a well-known name, the Belt Line Center, and a "rich history".
Kahn basically designed Detroit during its peak pre-war industrial period, and this particular work, which once produced trucks for Standard Motor Truck Co., is all about Kahn. Like his masterpiece, the massive Ford River Rouge Complex in Dearborn, its windows, plain bricks, and boxy modernism expresses the Kahnian aesthetic of industrial efficiency to a T.
Built in 1916, the Belt Line Center was designed by renowned architect Albert Kahn, who is famous for his designs of the Fisher Building in Detroit, Cranbrook House in Bloomfield Hills, Belle Isle Aquarium and more.
The Belt Line Center now houses small enterprises, such as a "rare tropical plants business", and spaces for entrepreneurs and artists. Indeed, the room the Crumblys were arrested in stored pricey art supplies. The building also has a lush green roof installed just last year by Inhabitect, a firm "devoted to designing, building and growing all forms of living architecture." Inhabitect also plans to install "an at-grade rain garden" sometime around now. The embedded video features drone footage of the building Kahn designed and Inhabitect is re-living and the parents of the accused boy killer were caught.