Michigan school officials defend actions before mass shooting as ‘prudent, proper and lawful’
Officials of a Michigan school district where four students died during a mass shooting in November are denying any wrongdoing on the day of the incident in response to a lawsuit from victims, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Two months after the deadly shooting, during which six students and a teacher were injured, Oxford school officials are claiming they are not liable for what transpired.
In a Friday filing, Oxford schools attorney Timothy Mullins wrote that the school’s employees were “careful, prudent, proper and lawful” in their handling of the situation.
“Defendants deny that they breached any duties and, further, deny that they were negligent in any manner,” Mullins wrote.
The filing is the Oxford school district’s first formal response to a lawsuit filed by attorney Geoffrey Fieger, which seeks $100 million in damages on behalf of two sisters, one of which was among those injured, notes the Detroit Free Press.
School officials “allowed the deranged, homicidal student to return to class with a gun in his backpack, with over 30 rounds of ammo in his backpack, when they knew he was a homicidal threat,” Fieger wrote in a December filing.
Lawyers for shooter Ethan Crumbley have signaled that he will plead insanity to multiple charges including murder. His parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, have both been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter for reportedly making a firearm accessible to their son. The parents have pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Among the warning signs that school officials missed, according to the lawsuit, was a note from Crumbley the day of the shooting depicting a semiautomatic rifle and the words “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.”
After his parents were summoned for a meeting at the school, Crumbley was allowed to return to class, and soon emerged from a bathroom and began shooting.
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