Attorney representing Oxford shooting victims’ family in lawsuit says tragedy could have been prevented

Attorney Ven Johnson shared photos of disturbing drawings allegedly made by suspect Ethan Crumbley.

Ven Johnson addresses the media about the Oxford School shooting

Attorney Ven Johnson representing the parents of three Oxford school shooting victims addresses the media at a press conference on Sept. 22, 2022. Photo Credit: CNBC

Parents suing over the fatal shootings at Oxford High School last year say recent depositions reveal officials ignored signs the alleged gunman could become violent.

Prosecutors accuse Oxford High student Ethan Crumbley of killing four classmates during a rampage last November.

Attorneys in a civil lawsuit say a teacher was concerned about pictures the student drew months before the shooting, allegedly showed off a bullet in a school hallway and watched violent videos in class.

Jill Soave, the mother of victim Justin Shilling, questions why top school officials failed to take any action.

“To me this is beyond neglect. This is unforgivable. We have (sob) four angels that are…they’re gone,” Soave said at a Thursday press conference.

The lawsuit was filed against Crumbley, his parents, school officials, and an armed security guard who claims they thought the gunfire was only part of a drill.

“Were there warning signs? There were stop signs everywhere on Monday the 29th and Tuesday the 30th that were absolutely ignored,” Johnson claims.

Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Ken Weaver released the following statement in response to Johnson’s claims:

At Oxford Community Schools, we are focused on providing all our students with a world-class education that prepares them for success while also providing for their safety and well-being. From Day One we have cooperated with the ongoing criminal investigation and will continue to do so. We are also fully cooperating with the civil litigation process and will continue to do so. I remain confident that the multiple investigations, lawsuits and the school board’s third-party review will bring all the facts to light and create the full transparency and accounting of events our community wants and deserves. In the meantime, we will not be responding to media about specific claims made by attorneys involved in the ongoing lawsuits. We remain focused on our mission of educating and supporting our kids.

Criminal trials for Ethan Crumbley and his parents — who are charged with involuntary manslaughter — are expected to begin in early 2023.

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  • Quinn Klinefelter
    Quinn Klinefelter is a Senior News Editor at 101.9 WDET. In 1996, he was literally on top of the news when he interviewed then-Senator Bob Dole about his presidential campaign and stepped on his feet.