The family of one of the victims killed in Michigan‘s Oxford High School mass shooting filed a lawsuit against the district and administrators claiming they knew accused shooter Ethan Crumbley was ‘homicidal and suicidal.’
Steven St. Juliana filed the suit against the district on Thursday over the death of his daughter, Hana, 14, who was one of the four victims gunned down on November 30 when Crumbley, 15, allegedly opened fire inside the school, injuring an additional seven people.
St. Juliana and his older daughter, Reina, 16, argued that student counselor Shawn Hopkins and Dean of Student Nicholas Ejak knew Crumbley had homicidal ideations when he was removed from class after teachers caught him drawing and writing disturbing messages hours before the shooting.
The family condemned the administrators, along with principal Steven Wolf, former Superintendent Timothy Throne and acting Superintendent Kenneth Weaver, for allowing Crumbley to go back to class without checking his bag, where he hid the alleged firearm.
‘The truth is that school officials escalated the danger by releasing [Crumbley] from a safe zone with knowledge of [Crumbley]’s propensity to inflict harm upon himself or others,’ the lawsuit states.
‘Instead, Ejak and Hopkins used their authority to write a hall pass, give [Crumbley] his backpack (without searching it), and return him to his third hour class, alone.’
Steven St. Juliana filed the suit against the Oxford Community School, student counselor Shawn Hopkins (pictured) and Dean of Student Nicholas Ejak for gross negligence for failing to prevent the mass shooting on November 30
Ethan Crumbley, 15 (above), stands accused of killing four and injuring 7 at Oxford High School. The St. Julianas claim administrators knew the teen demonstrated ‘homicidal and suicidial’ tendencies but still let him go back to class despite the warning signs
Hana St. Juliana (pictured) was allegedly gunned down by Crumbley after administrators sent him back to class despite teachers sending him for guidance over disturbing drawings and messages he wrote just hours before the shooting
Reina St. Juliana (above), 16, Hana’s older sister, filed the lawsuit with her father. The family seek unspecified damages under Michigan’s wrongful death statue
The Oxford Community School District did not immediately return DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
The suit seeks unspecified damages under Michigan’s wrongful death statute as it accuses the administrates of gross negligence and demands Weaver or the district issue a retraction of all statements made that the district was innocent of wrongdoing.
According to the suit, the district has cited an ‘adherence to policy’ defense for why Crumbley was sent back to class as he could only be held for a ‘disciplinary matter.’
The St. Juliana family claim the stance is a ‘cover-up’ for the district hide its actions on the day of the shooting.
‘The ‘adherence to policy’ construct is a false narrative manufactured by school officials to avoid accountability for the death and destruction they caused by their deliberate indifference to [Crumblye’s] status as a troubled youth who was suicidal and who had expressed homicidal ideation.’
Reina, a Oxford High student who was in a nearby hallway where her sister died, said in a statement on Friday: ‘I am standing up for my sister,.
‘I will be Hana’s voice for change. Until the District acknowledges what happened and what they did wrong, violence like this will happen again.
‘These senseless killings were preventable and I will do anything I can to make sure this doesn’t ever happen again.’
Crumbley was sent to the main offices when a teacher alerted administrators to disturbing drawings and messages he had written on a worksheet
According to the lawsuit, the family claims the district compounded the danger by releasing Crumbley form the offices and sending him back to class
Crumbley is currently awaiting trial for four counts of first-degree premeditated murder, seven counts of assault terrorism and 12 weapons offenses for the November 30 attack that left Hana, Tate Myre, 16, Madisyn Baldwin, 17 and Justin Shilling, 17, dead.
Crumbley’s parents James, 15, and Jennifer Crumbley, 43, lost custody, and are jailed in the same facility on involuntary manslaughter charges for gifting their son the deadly weapon he used to kill as a Christmas present.
They are also are accused of failing to intervene when he showed signs of mental distress at home and at school.
The three have little to no contact with one another after the parents were ordered to stop communicating with one another in court.
James and Jennifer had been blowing kisses and mouthing ‘I love you’ to each other during hearings, much to the annoyance of prosecutors, who asked the judge to separate them so as to not ‘make a mockery’ of the serious nature of the trial.
‘These communications … not only disparage the integrity of the judicial proceedings as a serious distraction, but are also traumatic for the families of the deceased victims,’ Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Markeisha Washington wrote in the filing on February.
‘Their communication is far more distracting and offensive than a cell phone going off, which the court would not condone.’
Jennifer (left) and James Crumbley (right) are accused of making the gun Crumbley used to kill four accessible to him, and are being tried for involuntary manslaughter
The lawsuit against the Oxford School district is the second of its kind as the family of shooting survivors Riley, 17, and Bella Franz, 14, had sued the school for $100 million, also alleging that administrators were negligent in preventing the tragedy.
Their attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, says that Riley was shot in the neck while Bella was by her side as they exited a restroom during the rampage.
School officials had asked Judge Mark Goldsmith to halt the lawsuit pending the outcome of criminal proceedings against Crumbley and his parents – however, Goldsmith said he was not aware of any risk that the civil suit would interfere with the criminal cases.
Previously, prosecutors successfully argued that, due to the severity of his accused crimes, the alleged killer does not belong in a juvenile facility, where he would be able to intermingle with other youths in an education-like setting – similar to the conditions under which he allegedly carried out the shooting at Oxford High School.
Prosecutors argued Crumbley would be a ‘menace’ to the other juveniles at the Children’s Village, pointing to a text between Crumbley and one of his friends in which he ‘outlined a plan to stalk, rape, torture and ultimately kill a female classmate.
‘He expressed delight in torturing a family of baby birds, and he wrote about the joy he received in listening to them squeal as he killed them,’ assistant prosecutor Marc Keast said.
Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Kwame L. Rowe felt that Crumbley’s current living situation – in solitary confinement at the adult prison, where he gets mail and has access to television – was appropriate for at least another month.
Michigan school shooter, 15, asked about ‘fan mail’ in jail and has been getting donations and emails from female well-wishers
Prosecutors said that months before the shooting, Ethan texted a friend, saying his parents ignored his pleas for help
Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbely has been asking about ‘fan mail’ in jail and benefiting from the generosity of supporters who have been depositing excessive amounts money onto his commissary account.
The 15-year-old is charged as an adult with first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder, terrorism and gun charges in the November 30 shooting at Oxford High School that killed four and injured seven others.
At a hearing on Tuesday to determine whether Ethan should remain in the adult county jail, or be transferred to a juvenile facility, prosecutors said that he wrote in his journal about wanting to rape and kill a female classmate, and made other disturbing comments.
‘He expressed delight in torturing a family of baby birds and he wrote about the joy he received in listening to them squeal as he killed them,’ Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Markeisha D. Washington said. ‘He spoke of his admiration for Adolf Hitler and Jeffrey Dahmer, specifically stating ´when you die, you need to be remembered for a long time, doing something that would make people think of you until time ends.'”
Last month, Crumbley’s attorneys filed a notice of an insanity defense.
Crumbley has been held at the county jail since December. Currently, he is lodged alone in a cell in the jail’s clinic to keep him from seeing and hearing adult inmates. Defense attorneys have been urging for Crumbley to be moved to Children’s Village.
Defense attorney Paulette Loftin said her client is ‘completely isolated’ at the adult jail. ‘And for someone who has mental health issues, isolation is horrific.’
Loftin conceded that Crumbley has access to a tablet, on which he has been receiving emails from mostly female well-wishers.
‘These are individuals, mostly women, who have taken it upon themselves to message him and give him well wishes and message him extremely frequently,’ she told the court.
Oakland County Sheriff Captain Thomas Bida testified that since entering the jail in December, Crumbley’s commissary account has become flush with cash from donors.
Bida said that, compared to other inmates, the amount of money on Crumbley’s account is ‘pretty excessive.’
Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Collins said Crumbley ‘wants to be remembered’ and while in jail asked how he would get ‘fan mail’ and ‘hate mail.’
‘He wants that notoriety,” Collins said.
Judge Kwame Rowe said Tuesday that he could have a written ruling by early next week on whether Crumbley will remain in the jail or be transferred to Children’s Village.