WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. ( Associated Press) – The parents of a teenager who was injured during a mass shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan are suing the store that sold the gun that was used to kill four students and injure six other people.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Detroit federal court on behalf of Matthew and Mary Mueller accuses Acme Shooting Goods LLC of supplying the gun negligently or illegally through a stray sale.
Authorities said James Crumbley bought the 9mm semi-automatic pistol used in the shooting on November 30 as an early Christmas present for his son, Ethan, who was then 15.
The lawsuit alleges that Ethan accompanied his father to Acme Shooting Goods several days before the shooting and “engaged in behavior or made one or more statements while in the store that further indicated that the Acme rifle was intended for” Ethan.
According to the lawsuit, Acme Shooting Goods was obliged to train, supervise and monitor employees in order to identify and prevent so-called “straw purchases”.
A straw purchase is when a person buys a gun to sell or gives to someone who is forbidden to have one.
An employee at the gun shop in Lapeer did not want to comment on the lawsuit on Wednesday.
The Muellers’ son sustained gunshot wounds to a hand and his face. He was one of six students and one teacher injured in the shooting at the school, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit.
Ethan Crumbley, now 16, has been charged with murder and terrorism as an adult and will be tried in January. James Crumbley and his wife, Jennifer, are accused of giving their son access to the gun and are awaiting trial for involuntary manslaughter.
“Gun dealers, when entering the business of selling guns, accept a duty to comply with all standards of reasonable care and all relevant state and / or federal firearms laws to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, juveniles and dangerous parties. . probably abusing firearms, ”reads the Muellers’ lawsuit.
A gun shop in Connecticut was named in a lawsuit against gunmaker 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 that her son, Adam Lanza, used in the shooting.
The store was later dropped from the lawsuit when a judge dismissed the charge against Remington in 2016. The judge cited a federal law that protects firearms manufacturers in most cases from liability. The Connecticut High Court later reinstated the lawsuit against Remington over whether he should be held accountable for how he marketed the Bushmaster rifle. In February, Remington and the Sandy Hook families agreed to a $ 73 million settlement of the case.
Remington, one of the country’s oldest arms manufacturers, founded in 1816, filed for bankruptcy for a second time in 2020, and its assets were later sold to several companies. The manufacturer has been plagued by lawsuits and restrictions on retail sales after the school shooting.
The Muellers’ lawsuit does not include a dollar amount of damages. It also mentions the Oxford Community School District, its former superintendent and other officials.
Other multimillion-dollar lawsuits filed after the shooting said the violence was preventable.
On the morning of the shooting, school officials met Ethan Crumbley and his parents at the school after a teacher found a drawing of a gun, a bullet and a person who was apparently 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 in school. The gun was in his backpack, which was not searched.
“We are bringing this case so that the failures in both the sale of this gun and at our school that allowed it 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 live with it for the rest of their lives.”