MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. -- A 23-year-old man is now charged with open murder in connection to the shooting death of Peggy Sue Everett, according to Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler.
Ishmail James Autman was charged Monday afternoon in connection with the 36-year-old woman's death, but investigators have yet to determine if Autman is the one who shot and killed Everett, according to Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson.
She was shot in the head June 30 while driving a minivan in the 2700 block of 8th Street.
Everett was taken to the hospital following the shooting and later died July 1. Family, friends and students gathered outside Oakridge High School Sunday night to remember the mother of four. Everett was a contracted bus driver with the school district.
The night of the shooting, both Everett and Autman were driving through Muskegon Heights on their way to commit a crime, according to Hilson.
Everett was driving when Autman allegedly began firing a gun, leading to an apparent 'shootout,' Hilson told FOX 17. While it is unclear whether Autman fatally shot Everett, investigators believe there is enough evidence to determine his actions directly resulted in Everett's death, according to Hilson.
"It appears as though Mr. Autman and Ms. Everett were going to commit a crime. They were looking for trouble," Hilson said.
Autman was arrested last Thursday on suspicion of lying to investigators. But further investigation is what led to the open murder charge on July 3, Hilson said.
“The way the law works, his bullet doesn’t necessarily have to be the one that kills her," Hilson said. If he is the cause of her death in any shape, matter or form, he can be ultimately charged and convicted of murder.”
Hilson would not confirm if any other arrests would be made in the case, only telling FOX 17 investigators are interviewing others who have possible information on the shooting.
According to online jail records, Autman is also being held on charges of assault and battery, damage to private property and obstructing justice.
Autman was arraigned on one count of open murder Monday afternoon. While being read the charges by the judge, Autman interrupted saying "No, I didn't murder her," despite being told he had the right to remain silent.