Families of Oxford High School shooting victims sue the school district and teachers for not preventing ‘predictable and preventable’ mass shooting that left four dead
- The lawsuits say Ethan Crumbley’s concerning behaviour was ignored by staff
- Four victims and two families of the killed are suing school administrators
- Crumbley killed two after being ‘caught by teachers looking at ammo online’
- He is also said to have drawn images of gunshot victims at school
Victims and families in a Michigan school shooting have sued the school district – saying failing to notify police of the killer’s ‘concerning behaviour’.
Four victims and two families of those killed in the Oxford school shooting on November 30 are suing the Oxford school district and school administrators in federal court.
They say killer Ethan Crumbley exhibited ‘concerning behavior that indicated psychiatric distress, suicidal or homicidal tendencies and the possibility of child abuse and neglect’.
Crumbley was said to have been seen by a teacher to be looking at ammunition online and is alleged to have been seen by other students to have shell casings and live ammunition on the day before the shooting.
Crumbley also brought a severed bird’s head to the high school and placed it in the boy’s bathroom.
While this behaviour was reported by students, school administrators including the principal and district administrators allegedly concealed the information from staff and parents, according to the filings.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer embraces Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter as the two leave flowers and pay their respects on Dec. 2, 2021 at Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan. The school is now being sued by the families of the victims
‘Senior Speaker’ Kylie Ossege, who was shot and wounded by Crumbley and is now suing the school, addresses the seniors at the Oxford High School graduation at Pine Knob Music Theater in Independence Township, Michigan, on May 19, 2022
They say this inaction breached the constitutional rights of the children at school to be safe.
Tate Myre, 16, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Hana St. Juliana, 14, and Justin Shilling, 17, died in the tragic shooting.
Kylie Ossege, 17, suffered a shoulder injury in the shooting but survived and is now suing the district and administrators of gross negligence and violation of the Michigan Child Protection Law.
Attorney Wolf Mueller said: ‘It is clear after reviewing documents and seeing testimony in the preliminary Exam of Crumbley’s parents, that the school administrators failed the students of Oxford High School.’
He added that the inaction of administrators made the tragedy ‘predictable and preventable’.
The lawsuit names Superintendent Timothy Throne, principal Steven Wolf, dean of students Nicholas Ejak, student counselor Shawn Hopkins, Superintendent Kenneth Weaver and four teachers, including a teacher who caught the alleged shooter looking at ammunition for his gun online while in class.
The lawsuit states that school administrators sent an email on November 12 after reviewing threats and said there was no ‘threat to our building nor our students’ and principal Wolf said that they were ‘merely exaggerated rumours’.
One teacher, Pam Parker Fine, is accused of violating the law by failing to contact child protective services in response to evidence that Crumbley was researching ammunition and that Crumbley’s parents did not take her call.
The law requires teachers to contact the high school’s liaison officer at the police when evidence of child neglect, child abuse and danger to others was presented.
The lawsuit says killer Ethan Crumbley exhibited ‘concerning behavior that indicated psychiatric distress, suicidal or homicidal tendencies and the possibility of child abuse and neglect’
Jacqueline Kubina, a teacher who also found Crumbley looking up ammunition in class, is also accused of violating the same law.
After teacher’s allegedly found Crumbley’s drawings of people with gunshot wounds, the lawsuit alleges that Ejak, the dean of students, and Hopkins, a student counselor, failed to search his backpack despite having grounds to do so.
The drawings reportedly came with the inscription: ‘The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.’
The shooting occurred after a meeting between Ejak and Hopkins and the Crumbley family in which the shooter’s parents refused to take their child home and the lawsuit says the meeting ‘deliberately’ took place without a safety liaison officer present to search Crumbley’s person.
The lawsuit called the defendants’ actions ‘reckless’ and put the lives of the victims ‘at substantial risk of serious and immediate harm’.
It further alleges that it was ‘foreseeable that [Crumbley] would carry out such acts of violence.
Ven Johnson, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said: ‘While this new lawsuit won’t remedy the pain and suffering these families have gone through, it will certainly hold the school district and its officials accountable for their role in not properly supervising and training teachers and counselors, who have an obligation to ensure students remain safe.’
‘With the alarming number of red flags and desperate cries for help that Ethan’s parents, teachers, counselors and administrators all somehow missed, this mass shooting absolutely could and should have been prevented.’
Ethan Crumbley, now 16, has been charged as an adult with four counts of first-degree murder for the November 2021 massacre of his fellow Oxford High students.
Justin Shilling and Tate Myre’s families have launched the lawsuit
Madisyn Baldwin, 17, (left) and Hana St Juliana, 14, (right) died in the shooting rampage at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit
On Thursday, a judge ruled that he must remain in an adult jail until his trial, which has been set for September.
His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were charged with involuntary manslaughter after it emerged they had bought the gun for their troubled son, who spent hours researching mass shootings and pleaded with his parents for help before using the weapon at his school. The judge said they failed to exercise ‘ordinary care and diligence’ as parents.
The parents will go on trial in October, and it is unclear whether Ethan will testify against them.
Last month, a judge refused to reduce their bail and insisted they were a flight risk.
The development comes days after a spree of mass shootings in schools, including the deadly massacre in Uvalde, Texas, which was the worst school shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012.
A gunman killed 19 students, including an entire class, at Robb Elementary School in the town, which has reignited debates over gun control in the US.
Some victims in Uvalde are planning to sue the gun manufacturer of the weapon used in the fatal shooting.
The families of nine victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting have previously agreed to a $73 million settlement against the maker of the rifle used to kill 20 first-graders and six educators in 2012, according to a court filing.
Democrats are attempting to pass gun regulations but face stiff opposition from Senate Republicans who remain fiercely opposed to new restrictions.
James and Jennifer Crumbley are accused of making the gun used in the November 30 shooting at Oxford High School available to their son after ignoring multiple red flags
Timeline of the Crumbley’s time on the run: Ethan Crumbley’s parents drained his bank account
12:51 pm: Ethan allegedly shoots and kills four students
1:22 pm: Jennifer texts Ethan ‘don’t do it.’ The shooting had already taken place.
1:37 pm: James calls 911 to report the gun missing and said he thinks his son might have it.
Ethan is charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder and terrorism.
McDonald announces that Jennifer and James are charged with four counts each of involuntary manslaughter.
2-3 pm: The couple were last seen near Rochester Hills before leading authorities on a manhunt for several hours. They withdraw $4,000 from an ATM in the area before leaving the motel they had been staying at since Tuesday after the shooting.
4 pm: The couple were scheduled to be arraigned at 4pm but stopped communicating with their attorneys, prompting state and federal officials to launch a manhunt. Crumbleys’ lawyers said their clients had left for their own safety and were not on the run.
Later in the day: Oakland County sheriff complained after the charges were announced that he did not get an advance warning of the charges being filed against the pair and learned of them from media reports. Jennifer and James did not show up to court, but their lawyer said they ‘are returning’ and ‘would be turning themselves in to be arraigned.’
10 pm: A tipster reports the Crumbleys’ abandoned Kia in a neighborhood on the east side of Detroit.
A massive manhunt of the area leads to their capture in the basement of a nearby building – less than a mile from the Canadian border.
2:45 am: James and Jennifer are booked at the Oakland County Jail.
9:30 am: The Crumbleys appear for their video conference arraignment from separate rooms in the jail. They each pleaded not guilty to all four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Judge Julie Nicholson set each parent’s bond at $500,000, which must be paid in full. They remain at Oakland County Jail after the virtual meeting, which is also where their son Ethan is being held.