School officers unknowingly gave Michigan taking pictures suspect his backpack with gun and magazines, lawyer says

A highschool counselor and a dean unknowingly gave a taking pictures suspect a backpack containing the pistol and magazines officers say he used to kill 4 individuals and injure seven others in Oxford, Michigan, final yr, a lawyer representing victims’ households mentioned Thursday.

The trade occurred within the hours earlier than the taking pictures, in a gathering at which the suspect, then 15, had been summoned after a math trainer discovered a notecard on his desk displaying a gun, a bullet and several other disturbing phrases, together with “blood everywhere” and “the thoughts won’t stop,” lawyer Ven Johnson informed reporters.

Details of the trade got here from depositions faculty officers offered after a number of households sued the Oxford Community School District in federal courtroom final yr.

The swimsuit, which seeks $100 million in damages, accused the district of gross negligence and argued that the Nov. 30 taking pictures was “entirely preventable.”

During the assembly with counselor Shawn Hopkins and dean Nicholas Ejak, the scholar grew to become “actually fearful” about lacking chemistry class and requested for his homework and backpack, Johnson mentioned.

Hopkins went to retrieve the bag, Johnson mentioned. According to Hopkins’ testimony, Johnson mentioned, the counselor commented on the backpack’s weight after the trainer gave it to him.

After he returned to the assembly, Hopkins gave the bag to Ejak, who handed it to the teenager.

“Neither one in every of them, in accordance with their testimony, even thought for a second to ask … ‘Hey dude, present us what’s in there,'” Johnson mentioned. “‘We simply wish to be sure that every thing is cool.'”

Hopkins informed the suspect’s dad and mom, who attended the assembly, that in the event that they did not search assist for his or her son inside 48 hours, he would report them to the native youngster protecting providers company.

The scholar returned to class round 11 a.m. and is accused of opening hearth simply earlier than 1 p.m., Johnson mentioned.

Johnson mentioned some faculty officers missed different crimson flags, together with an incident Nov. 29 when the suspect’s trainer noticed him taking a look at photographs of bullets on his cellphone.

After the trainer started reviewing his classwork and seen his pursuits “leaned towards the violent facet,” Johnson mentioned, she reported what she had discovered to different faculty officers, together with Hopkins. Johnson mentioned neither official appeared to have investigated the matter.

In one other incident earlier within the yr, Johnson mentioned, the suspect’s Spanish trainer requested Hopkins to talk together with her scholar due to an autobiographical poem indicating that he felt “horrible and that his household is a mistake.”

Hopkins adopted up with the trainer, who mentioned she was not involved as a result of she believed the scholar was speaking about homework, not his life, Johnson mentioned.

A lawyer for Hopkins and Ejak didn’t reply Thursday to a request for remark. In a courtroom submitting, attorneys for the varsity denied allegations within the households’ lawsuit and described a few of them as inaccurate.

The teen has pleaded not responsible to 2 dozen expenses, together with homicide. His dad and mom have been additionally charged with involuntary manslaughter and have pleaded not responsible.