New lawsuit filed in mass shooting at Michigan school


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — A new lawsuit was filed in Michigan on Thursday over a shooting at Oxford High School that killed four students and wounded six other students and a teacher.

The lawsuit was announced by Detroit-area attorney Ven Johnson on behalf of the parents of one student who was slain Nov. 30 and others who witnessed the shootings.

A fellow student, Ethan Crumbley, 15, is charged as an adult with murder and other crimes. His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, later were charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors have said the gun used in the shooting was bought days before by James Crumbleyx, and their son had full access to it.

The school, in Oakland County, is about 30 miles north of Detroit. It reopened Monday with its interior renovated since the shooting.

In December, Jeffrey and Brandi Franz filed a pair of lawsuits in federal court and county circuit court seeking $100 million each against the district. Their 17-year-old daughter, Riley, was shot in the neck. Her 14-year-old sister, Bella, a ninth-grader, was next to her at the time she was shot.

Their lawsuit says school officials and high school staff didn’t do enough to prevent the shooting and protect students.

The Associated Press sent an email Thursday morning seeking comment from the school district.

Crumbley will pursue an insanity defense, his lawyers said in a notice filed Thursday.

Rachel Fiset, managing partner of Zweiback, Fiest & Coleman, LLP, said an insanity defense is rare and only used in about 1% of cases.

“How it is proven is by psychiatric evaluations and then showing that the defendant did not know right from wrong at the time that the crime was committed, or that he was unable to resist the impulse
To commit the crime,” she said.

Fiset believes the amount of evidence leading up to the shooting will make an insanity defense difficult to prove.

“The fact that he hid in a bathroom, put his gun in his backpack, he waited for his parents to leave the school. And it looks like there was premeditated planning that went into this does not support the finding of insanity,” she said.

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