Oxford High School, located 40 miles north of Detroit, Michigan, made headlines last month when 15-year-old sophomore Ethan Crumbley reportedly brought a 9mm Sig Sauer semi-automatic handgun to school and killed four students and wounded several others.
The gun was bought as a Christmas present by his parents, who took him out shooting that weekend and dismissed the school’s efforts to contact them when Ethan was caught searching for ammunition on his phone. In a text message from his mother to her son, she wrote, “LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.”
His parents were called into school the morning of the shooting when a teacher found an “alarming” drawing on Ethan’s desk of a gun, a bullet, and a bleeding person. However, Ethan reportedly told school counselors that the drawing was an idea for a video game concept he had, and he wanted to go to school to learn how to become a video game creator.
School Shooters Parents ‘Resisted’ Taking Their Son Out Of School
His parents, James Crumbley and Jennifer Crumbley, “resisted” taking their son out of school, and the shooting occurred later that day. Once the prosecution announced that his parents would be held accountable for keeping their weapon in an unlocked bedroom draw, the Crumbley couple withdrew $4,000 dollars from a bank account and fled town.
They were found hiding in a commercial building owned by a friend of theirs who has since come forward and has been working with police. Each parent is being held on a $500,000 bond and all three members of the Crumbley family are being held in isolation at the Oakland County Jail.
Now, lawsuits are being filed against school officials, who are being accused of not taking appropriate action against Ethan Crumbley and failing to stop the attack despite evidence that he posed a credible threat against other students and staff members.
Survivors File $100M Lawsuit Against School District
According to the Detroit News, two sisters have started a lawsuit in what many believe to be the first of many against the school district for failing to respond appropriately to the threat Crumbley posed. Even after the “alarming” drawing was found, Crumbley was allowed to return to class, which has left many reporters asking if school officials will be next to be criminally charged in this case.
This lawsuit is started by honor students Riley Franz, 17, a senior, and Bella Franz, 14, a freshman. The sisters say that they were exiting a restroom when the shooting started, and Riley was shot in the neck while standing beside her sister. It is not clear if Bella suffered any injuries in the attack, although she was described as “literally traumatized.”
The lawsuit accuses the school of failing to stop an attack that caused both physical and psychological damage to students and staff. The lawsuit alleges that Superintendent Timothy Throne and High School Principal Steven Wolf did not prevent an attack despite ominous social media posts by Crumbley days before the attack.
These warning signs included photographs of his “Christmas present” – the weapon he used in the shooting – and a countdown clock. He had also allegedly changed his Instagram bio to read “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. See you tomorrow Oxford” just before the shooting took place.
The lawsuit further alleges that the superintendent did not deem the threat “credible” and took no action. They also say that the school ignored a policy in which students are not allowed to have backpacks in the classroom. It is believed that Crumbley kept the gun and ammunition in his backpack, which was also not searched by authorities when he attended the meeting with his parents.
“We haven’t been able to say more because this is an ongoing investigation,” Superintendent Throne said. “We do not have all the facts and cannot interfere with the prosecutorial investigation. We know this has caused frustration and anger but we are doing our best under difficult circumstances.”