WEST BLOOMFIELD, Michigan (AP) – The parents of a teen injured in a mass shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan are suing the store that sold the gun used to kill four students and injure six other people .
The complaint, filed Tuesday in federal court in Detroit on behalf of Matthew and Mary Mueller, accuses Acme Shooting Goods LLC of negligently or unlawfully supplying the weapon through a straw sale.
Authorities have said James Crumbley bought the 9mm semi-automatic pistol used in the Nov. 30 shooting as an early Christmas present for his son, Ethan, who was 15 at the time.
The lawsuit says Ethan accompanied his father to Acme Shooting Goods several days before the shooting and “displayed behavior or made one or more statements while in the store, further indicating that the Acme gun was intended for” Ethan.
Acme Shooting Goods was required to train, supervise and monitor employees to identify and prevent so-called “straw purchases,” according to the lawsuit.
Buy a straw is when a person buys a gun to sell or give to someone who is forbidden to have one.
An employee of the gun shop in Lapeer declined to comment on the lawsuit on Wednesday.
The Muellers’ son suffered gunshot wounds to his hand and face. He was one of six students and a teacher injured in the shooting at the school about 30 miles north of Detroit.
Ethan Crumbley, now 16, has been charged with murder and terrorism as an adult and… will be in court in January† James Crumbley and his wife Jennifer are accused of giving their son access to the gun and waiting for process for involuntary manslaughter.
“Weapons dealers, when engaged in the sale of weapons, assume a duty to comply with all standards of reasonable care and all relevant state and/or federal firearms laws to obtain weapons from the hands of criminals, juveniles and dangerous parties. likely to misuse firearms,” the Muellers lawsuit says.
A Connecticut gun store was named in a lawsuit against gunsmith Remington after the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which killed 26 people, mostly children. Nancy Lanza bought the assault rifle used by her son, Adam Lanza, in the shooting.
The store was later dropped from the lawsuit when a judge dismissed Remington’s complaint in 2016. The judge cited a federal law that protects gun manufacturers from liability in most cases. The Connecticut Supreme Court later reinstated Remington’s lawsuit over whether it should be held liable for the way it marketed the Bushmaster rifle. In February, Remington and the Sandy Hook families agreed to a $73 million settlement for the case.
Remington, one of the nation’s oldest arms manufacturers, founded in 1816, filed for bankruptcy a second time in 2020 and its assets were later sold to several companies. The manufacturer was burdened by lawsuits and sales restrictions after the school shooting.
The Muellers’ lawsuit does not include dollar damages. It also mentions the Oxford Community School District, the former superintendent and other officials.
Other multimillion-dollar lawsuits filed after the shooting said the violence could have been prevented.
The morning of the shooting, school officials met with Ethan Crumbley and his parents at school after a teacher found a drawing of a gun, a bullet and a person that appeared to have been shot, along with messages saying “My life is useless” and “The world is dead.”
The Crumbleys refused to take their son home and Ethan was allowed to stay at school. The gun was in his backpack, which was not searched.
“We’re bringing this suit so that the failures, both in the sale of this gun and at our school that allowed this to happen, can never happen again,” Matthew and Mary Mueller said in a statement. “No family or community needs to experience this pain and no child should have to live with it for the rest of their lives.”