“The horror of November 30, 2021 was entirely preventable,” the lawsuit said.
The complaint was initially filed with US District Court in Michigan in December by the family of two sisters who survived the shooting, and was amended on January 7. Plus advisors, teachers, and unnamed staff.
The lawsuit says that one of the sisters was shot in the neck during the attack, while the other was not mistaken with great difficulty.
The lawsuit seeks more than $100 million for each girl, alleging the need for medical and emotional treatment.
In a statement to CNN on Wednesday, Tim Mullins, an attorney representing the Oxford Community School District, said the district and all of its personnel cooperated fully with the investigation into the shooting.
“While pursuing the investigation, prosecutors requested and the school district certainly agreed, and we have pledged not to do or say anything that would confuse or impede their pursuit of justice on behalf of the victims of these criminals,” Mullins said. “The school district honors that obligation,” Mullins said.
Lawyers for Ethan, Jennifer and James Cromble did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Lawsuit says disturbing behavior began weeks before shooting
The lawsuit said Ethan Crumbly exhibited disturbing behavior on November 11 when he brought a severed bird’s head to school in a mason jar filled with yellow liquid. She said he left the jar on the toilet paper dispenser in the boys’ bathroom.
The lawsuit said the students reported the incident to the principal of Oxford High School and other school management officials.
The next day, according to the lawsuit, the high school sent an email to parents saying, “Please note that we have reviewed all concerns shared with us and verified all information provided…[w]We want our parents and students to know that there was no threat to our buildings nor to our students.”
On November 16, several parents expressed concerns with the manager about threats made by Crombley on social media, according to the complaint. The complaint said the principal and the Oxford University Principal reviewed Crumbley’s publications, which threatened Oxford High School students. She added that Crumpley’s Instagram and other social media accounts are set to be public, meaning anyone can view them.
The complaint alleges that a parent told school officials, “I know he’s been investigated but my son doesn’t feel safe at school.”
On the same day, the manager sent an email to the parents saying, “I know I’m superfluous here, but there is absolutely no threat at HS…Big assumptions were made from a few social media posts, then the assumptions developed into Exaggerated rumors.”
After exchanging emails, the supervisor warned the students – over loudspeakers – to “stop spreading information via social media and stop relying on information on social media,” the lawsuit said.
“At all times, (the supervisor’s) relevant actions, by advising each student … that there was no credible threat, exhibited reckless behavior to the point of showing significant disinterest as to whether an injury (the wound) would result,” the suit said.
The lawsuit states that Ethan Curmbley brought live ammunition to the school
Oakland County District Attorney Karen MacDonald said last month that James Crumbley purchased the gun used in the shooting four days before the deadly attack.
MacDonald said during parental questioning on December 4 that Ethan Crumbly “had full access to this gun”, and “the parents did not secure (the gun) and gave him free access to it.”
On November 29 – the day before the shooting – the lawsuit states that Crombley “brought live ammunition to Oxford High School and publicly displayed it while in class.” On the same day, a teacher saw Crumbly “looking for ammo on his cell phone during class,” the lawsuit says. The teacher reported the incident to a counsellor.
The lawsuit said officials repeatedly failed to notify the school’s safety liaison officer about incidents involving Crombley.
School officials contacted parents by phone and email, but no response. The lawsuit alleges that officials “released Ethan Curmbley from school without discipline and without investigation into his inappropriate internet research.”
Later, Jennifer Curmbley texted her son saying, “lol I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught,” according to MacDonald.
That night, the lawsuit alleged, Crumbley changed his Twitter bio to read, “Now I’m death, destroyer of worlds. See you tomorrow Oxford.”
On the day of the shooting, MacDonald said, another teacher found a drawing on Crumble’s desk depicting a shooting. The prosecutor said it “disturbed her so much that she took a picture of her with her cell phone”.
The lawsuit said the photo led school officials to hold a meeting with him and his parents.
When the parents were called that day, Jennifer Curmbley asked if only James Curmbley could call, and the school told her they called him but only heard “dead air,” Attorney General Mark Kist said in court last week in a bond reduction heard.
Both parents eventually showed up at school.
After the school discussed their concerns about the teen’s drawings, the parents said neither of them could take him home, Kist told the court. Then Jennifer Curmbley said, “Are we done here?” Which is when the school said it had 48 hours to contact a therapist, according to Keast.
MacDonald said in December that parents had resisted the idea of taking their son out of school, and he was allowed back into the classroom.
The shooting took place several hours later, but prosecutors said neither parent went home to check the location of the gun.
Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Meyer, 16 years old; Hana St. Juliana, 14; Authorities said Justin Schilling, 17, died in the shooting. Six other students and a teacher were injured.
CNN’s Jason Hanna, Taylor Romain, and Kelly McCleary contributed to this report.