(NewsNation) — Almost a year following the death of four high school students at Oxford High School — a school 30 minutes north of Detroit — parents are saying authorities could have stopped the shooting.
“From literally the beginning of school, Ethan Crumbley was evidencing signs of being a highly troubled individual, to say the least,” said Detroit attorney Ven Johnson, citing depositions taken in a civil lawsuit against Oxford Community Schools and some of the staff at Oxford High School.
One teacher said Crumbley drew what appeared to be an ammunition magazine on a note card in late August 2021. Crumbley also responded in a survey that his favorite books included “Making Bombs for Hitler,” while “Dexter” and “Breaking Bad” were among his favorite television shows.
“I firmly believe that this was all preventable, that it could have been stopped, that it didn’t need to happen and that the school failed our children,” said teacher Cori McCarthy on Thursday’s edition of “Rush Hour.”
A the time of the shooting, McCarthy had two children enrolled at Oxford High School. She told “Rush Hour” they didn’t attend the day of the shooting because they feared something bad was going to happen.
“Every day I would have to go pick my children up early because the vibe was off — they did not feel comfortable being there. I hug all of my kids now before they leave and tell them I love them, because knowing that encounter could be our last encounter is very heartbreaking,” McCarthy said.
Crumbley, now 16, faces trial next year as an adult on murder and other charges in the Nov. 30 shooting and will remain in adult jail as a juvenile.
Because he is a juvenile in adult prison, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJPDA) mandates Crumbley have a placement hearing every 30 days, where the defense and the prosecution are given the opportunity to present new information about Crumbley’s placement.
Thursday, Sept. 22 was his most recent hearing, where an Oakland County Circuit Court judge ruled he is to stay imprisoned.
“The court does believe that it continues to be in the best interest of justice to continue the defendant’s placement at the Oakland County Jail, for the reasons previously stated. … With that being said, I will continue his placement at the Oakland County Jail. We will return for a new hearing in the next 30 days,” Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Kwame Rowe said at the hearing’s conclusion.
The Oxford, Michigan, native is accused of killing four classmates and injuring seven other people after opening fire at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021. He is charged with 24 felonies and faces life in prison if convicted.
Ethan’s trail is expected to start in January. His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are charged with involuntary manslaughter and accused of failing to keep the gun used in the shooting secure at home and failing to reasonably care for their son when he showed signs of mental distress.
They have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.