A Michigan district judge on Wednesday ordered the release of surveillance video and police reports from the November 2021 Oxford High School shooting, which left four students dead and seven others injured.
Judge Rae Lee Chabot ordered the release of the materials in attorney Ven Johnson’s case accusing the then-15-year-old shooting suspect, Ethan Crumbley; his parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley; and school staff of negligence after Johnson subpoenaed the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and Oxford Community school district for those materials.
“[A]all these things are going to have information contained in the report that I’ve never received because they refuse to give it to me, when in every single case — and I’ve been doing this type of work for 36 years — in every case ever in the history of my practice, they always give you the investigation. So for whatever reason, they decided not to. They didn’t think I needed it. They think it’s too soon. They think it could hurt their criminal case. They think a lot of things. But that’s not their call,” Johnson told Fox News Digital in an interview.
Johnson believes video surveillance from outside and inside the school, as well as the sheriff’s report, could display information essential to his case accusing the Crumbley family of negligence and the school district of gross negligence.
The four deceased victims of the November 2021 shooting are 16-year-old Tate Myre, 16-year-old Justin Shilling, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana and 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin.
Johnson’s complaints were filed on behalf of the parents of five Oxford High School students, including Myer, Shilling, survivor Keegan Gregory, and survivors Sophia and Grace Kempen.
“I will absolutely be putting into evidence footage of the videotape. I have to prove how my client died. I have two clients that died. The videotape is going to show one of them dying. So at trial, would I [show] that? You’re darn right I would do that because I’ve sued Ethan Crumley, his parents and the school district that should have prevented the shooting from happening,” Johnson explained.
“We fully expect that Oxford Community Schools, Oakland County/Oakland County Sheriff’s Office will fully comply with the law and Judge Chabot’s order,” Johnson added. “Our clients have waited over seven months to see the full and complete investigation with their own eyes; that’s long enough.”
Johnson said another hearing will be held before Chabot on August 3.
The Oxford Board of Education in May announced that the district has, for the second time, declined an offer from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to conduct a third-party investigation into the school shooting with the goal of determining how shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley managed to kill four students and injure seven others last fall.
“To me, this is an admission of guilt,” Buck Myre, father of deceased 16-year-old Tate Myre, said at the time. “They know that things didn’t go right that day, and they don’t want to stand up and fix it. They’re going to hide behind governmental immunity and they’re going to hide behind insurance and the lawyers. What’s this teach the kids? They’re in high school. … This is horrible leadership.”
Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald charged James and Jennifer Crumbley with four counts of involuntary manslaughter each.
Authorities say Ethan Crumbley used a pistol his father, James Crumbley, bought on Black Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. McDonald said in December that the parents purchased the pistol as a Christmas present for their son, according to a social media post from Jennifer Crumbley. Both parents pleaded not guilty at their arraignment.
McDonald also revealed in December that school officials met with Crumbley and his parents to discuss violent drawings he created just hours before the deadly rampage. The 15-year-old suspect was able to convince them during the meeting that the concerning drawings were for a “video game.” His parents “flatly refused” to take their son home.
The shooting has resulted in several lawsuits, including two that seek $100 million in damages each, against the school district and school employees on behalf of the family of two sisters who attend the school.