‘Now I Am Become Death’: Lawsuit Says Suspect Posted Threats Just Before Shooting in Michigan School
The shooting at Oxford High School in Oakland County, Michigan, occurred on 30 November. A total of four people were killed, seven were injured. The attack was purportedly carried out by a 15-year-old student at the school.
The suspect in the deadly school shooting in Michigan, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, posted threats on social media shortly before the crime, according to the legal action initiated on Thursday against the school district.
The two lawsuits, $100 million each, were filed by Jeffrey Franz and Brandi Franz, whose daughters survived the shooting, with one of them being shot in the neck. In the lawsuit, the school’s Principal Steven Wolf and Superintendent Tim Thorne were accused of negligence, as they reportedly failed to respond to the threats.
"Previous to the November 30, 2021 incident, Ethan Crumbley posted countdowns and threats of bodily harm, including death, on his social media accounts, warning of violent tendencies and murderous ideology prior to actually coming to school with the handgun and ammunition to perpetuate the slaughter," the lawsuit states.
"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. See you tomorrow Oxford," the suspect allegedly shared on his Twitter account (now deleted) on the night before the shooting.
Crumbley's account was said to be private at the time, but he placed the quote in his profile biography, so it could be seen by all users.
According to the lawsuit, when parents had raised concerns to Wolf about the threatening posts, he replied via email, saying “there is absolutely no threat at the HS…large assumptions were made from a few social media posts, then the assumptions evolved into exaggerated rumors.”
Thorne also "sent correspondence and emails to parents at Oxford High School reassuring them that their children were safe at Oxford High School."
3 December 2021, 05:23 GMT
He "warned the students, via loudspeaker, to stop spreading information over social media and to stop relying on information on social media, reiterating that there were no threats that posed any danger to students at Oxford High School," the legal action claims.
The legal complaint came soon after prosecutors revealed that hours before the shooting, Crumbley was sent to the school’s counselor after a teacher noticed a graphic picture depicting a gun, a bullet, a shooting victim, and a laughing emoji, with the words “thoughts won’t stop, help me”, “the world is dead” and “my life is useless” written on it.
6 December 2021, 03:59 GMT
The school called his parents, but they refused to take him home as the counselor recommended and didn’t inform the school that their son had a gun. The parents of the teenager were also charged with counts of manslaughter some days later, as prosecutors said that they reportedly bought the gun for their son as a Christmas gift.
Ethan Crumbley was arrested soon after the shooting and charged with 24 criminal counts, including four counts of first-degree murder and terrorism.