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Families of Oxford victims vow to fight for accountability in new lawsuit

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Posted at 10:01 AM, Jan 27, 2022

(WXYZ) — Another lawsuit has been filed against Ethan, James and Jennifer Crumbley, and Oxford High School employees, on behalf of multiple students at the high school.

The shooting happened on Nov. 30 and left four students dead – Tate Myre, Hana St. Juliana, Madisyn Baldwin and Justin Shilling – and injured six other students and a teacher.

The families of Tate Myre and student Keegan Gregory said during a Thursday press conference that they are fighting for accountability with this lawsuit.

“We love Oxford, we’ve always had Oxford’s back … the one time they needed to have our back, they didn’t,” said Buck Myre. He noted that it’s not a reflection of everybody in the district.

Buck said they always taught Tate about accountability and that not doing it would be a dishonor to him. During the press conference, Buck described Tate as a special kid, saying “he was wise beyond his years.” He said Tate loved Christmas and enjoyed spending time at home with his family.

After his death, Buck said they are not doing well but are trying to find a way to get through the grief together.“We miss him so much,” said Buck.

The lawsuit is the second filed, and accuses the suspect and his parents of intentional, reckless and negligent conduct, and said the parents repeatedly ignored their son's signs of psychiatric problems.

The lawsuit also accuses counselors, the dean of students and three teachers, saying there was gross negligence that led to the attacks.

According to the filing, classmates saw the suspect in possession of shell casings and live ammunition the day before the shooting. It also details some of the things that were announced during the course of the investigation, including a teacher witnessing Ethan using his phone to search for ammunition the day before the shooting.The lawsuit includes 11 separate counts, including wrongful death, negligence, reckless conduct and more.

“This tragedy could have and should have been prevented and we plan to fight like hell for our clients and the entire Oxford community,” Ven Johnson, the president of Ven Johnson Law, said. His firm is filing the suit. “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.”

Chad Gregory, father of Keegan, said his son was in the bathroom with Justin Shilling when the suspected shooter entered. He credits Justin for helping to save Keegan's life, telling him to run the first chance they had.

"Justin gave him the plan ... he's our angel," said Chad. "I am so sad for his family.

Chad said his son has been severely impacted by what he experienced.

“We're changed forever and there is no way to predict what will happen," he said. Chad said his family supports change and will fight for accountability.

Tate's family said they also plan to launch a foundation in honor of their son called 42 Strong. The foundation will be a peer-to-peer mentoring program aimed at helping kids who may be falling through the cracks.

“We want to reach everybody that we can,” said Buck. “Unfortunately this shooter was raising his hand and people refused to see that.”

Through the foundation, the family hopes that Tate's legacy will live on through helping others.