Oxford High School shooting victim Tate Myre's family, others sue Crumbleys, school staff

Oakland County prosecutor gives update on Oxford High School shooting case

Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald on Tuesday afternoon answered questions from press following a probable cause conference for James and Jennifer Crumbley.

A new lawsuit has been filed against Ethan Crumbley, the suspect in the Nov. 30 shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan, as well as his parents and school staff on behalf of four victims’ families.

The parents of four Oxford High School students, including deceased 16-year-old Tate Myre, as well as minors Keegan Gregory, Sophia Kempen and Grace Kempen, are accusing James and Jennifer Crumbley and school staff of negligence.

“Today’s the 58th morning we’ve woken up without Tater. Tomorrow with be the 59th. … The rest of our lives,” Tate Myre’s father, William Myre, said during a Thursday press conference. “We’re sad. We’re hurt. … Our lives are forever changed. Our family will never be the same.”

Myre described his son as “selfless” and “wise beyond his years.” He added that it was a “tough decision” to file the lawsuit, and that not doing so would be a “dishonor” to Tate.

Tate Myre. (Credit: Johnson Law, PLC)

The lawsuit accuses James and Jennifer Crumbley of intentional, reckless and negligent conduct for “acting in concert” with their son, saying they are “liable” for his “violent assaults.” It also accuses school staff members, including several teachers and a counselor, of gross negligence for “increasing the danger” posed by Ethan Crumbley and making the school environment “less safe after their acts than before.”

“This tragedy could have and should have been prevented and we plan to fight like hell for our clients and the entire Oxford community,” attorney Ven Johnson, president of Ven Johnson Law, said in a Thursday statement. “The inaction by those who are trained to help and protect students is inexcusable, let alone the abuse, neglect and behavior of the Crumbleys. We will hold those responsible for this tragedy accountable and get justice for the students, families and community.”

Ethan Crumbley is accused of fatally shooting four students and injuring seven others at Oxford High School (OHS) on Nov. 30. The four deceased victims are Myre, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin and17-year-old Justin Shilling. 

Tate Myre was “physically present at OHS” on Nov. 30 “and was aware that his life was in danger or that he needed to take precautions, such as refraining from attending school that day,” the complaint states. Tate was a junior and captain of the football team and has been described as a hero by his peers for rushing toward the shooter in an attempt to disarm him.

Tate Myre. (Credit: Johnson Law, PLC)

“The ball was dropped, and there needs to be accountability here,” his father said Thursday.

Keegan Gregory was hiding in the bathroom with Justin Shilling when he was shot in the head, according to the lawsuit. Ethan Crumbley allegedly ordered Gregory to come out of hiding and get on the ground, but he ran out of the bathroom to safety. He has since “suffered severe anxiety and emotional distress and is now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder,” the complaint states.

“He suffered an injury so severe, but it was invisible, so no one will know,” Keegan’s father, Chad Gregory, said Thursday.

Sisters Sophia and Grace Kempen were hiding in classrooms when Ethan Crumbley allegedly started shooting students. They have since “suffered severe emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disturbance, nightmares, fear of attending school, inability to enjoy movies and games that reprise the shooting incident at Oxford and fear of any loud, sudden noises such as fireworks, and can be expected to continue to suffer such damages into the undetermined future.”

Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald charged James and Jennifer Crumbley with four counts of involuntary manslaughter each. 

Ethan Robert Crumbley, 15, has been charged with first-degree murder in a high school shooting. His parents James and Jennifer Crumbley have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter each. 
(Reuters)

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, where Jennifer Crumbley appeared to tear up while Judge Julie Nicholson read their charges aloud. The two are being held on $500,000 bond each, totaling $1 million.

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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 also 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. 

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