On November 30th, 2020 Ethan Crubmley — a 15 year old student — entered Oxford High School in Michigan with a preemptive plan to carry out a mass shooting. The student opened fire in the hallways "during passing time between classes when hundreds of students were transitioning from one classroom to the other ''. He claimed the lives of four students — Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17 — and injured seven others. The district's superintendents have requested an independent investigation into the incident which is now the deadliest school shooting in the US since May 2018. Crumbley faces a slew of charges as an adult, including terrorism and first degree murder.
On Monday 29th, the day before the fatal shooting, a high school teacher saw the suspect looking at photos of ammunition on his cellphone during class, prompting a meeting with a counselor and another staff member. During the discussion, the students stated that his mother and him had recently gone to the shooting range and that “shooting sports are a family hobby.” The school attempted to reach the parents, although they were not able to. Crumbly received a message from his mother saying: "LOL I'm not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught,". The day of the shooting Crumbley was, once again, asked to visit the counselors office upon violent drawings that he had been completing during class time. His parents were contacted once again but, when asked to take their child home for the rest of the stay, they “flatly refused”, leaving their son behind to “return to work”. Because the student had no prior disciplinary actions on his record, school counselors decided to allow him to return to class. Crumbly allegedly had the gun used in the shooting in his backpack during the meeting.
Crumbley and his parents spent Saturday (4th of December) night in the same Oakland County Jail. James and Jennifer Crumbley have set bonds at $500,000 each. During the parents’ arraignment, prosecutors stated that they allowed their son “free access” to the gun used in the shooting. It was also revealed that Ethan Crumbley posted a picture of the weapon used during the shooting on Social Media and captioned it: "Just got my new beauty today. SIG SAUER 9mm" with a heart-eyes emoji. Jennifer Crumbley — who bought the weapon during Black Friday — also posted the gun on social media calling it her son’s “new Christmas present”. James and Jennifer Crumbley pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges on the 4th of December. The court appearance came hours after authorities had spent hours searching for them and found them in a Detroit warehouse.
The parents of two Oxford High School students are suing school officials, claiming that the mass shooting was “entirely preventable” and that school officials “created and increased the dangers then-existing at Oxford High School.” The lawsuit claims for $100 million in damages. In their lawsuit the parents claims that "previous to the November 30, 2021 incident, Ethan Crumbley posted threats of bodily harm, including death, on his social media accounts, warning of violent tendencies and murderous ideology,". Hence outlining that Crumbley was an “obvious and known” threat to the school community and that there was ample space for school officials to take action.
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