By Robert Snell | The Detroit News
Detroit — An armed Oxford High School security guard failed to stop a mass shooting that killed four students and injured seven others, thinking the attack was a drill and that one student was wearing “really good makeup” as he bled to death, a victim’s lawyer argued Wednesday.
Attorney Ven Johnson, who represents several victims and their families, leveled the allegation against the security guard after viewing school surveillance video of the attack. His review coincides with a broader scrutiny nationally of law enforcement response to active shooter attacks since May when a shooter in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 students and two teachers as police waited in the hallway.
Speaking during a news conference Wednesday attended by relatives of students killed or injured in the Nov. 30 attack, Johnson focused on a roughly five-minute timespan during the mass shooting, its immediate aftermath and what he portrayed as several wasted opportunities to intervene and save the life of at least one student, 17-year-old student Justin Shilling.
“It’s difficult to know that he could still be here,” Shilling’s father, Craig Shilling, told reporters. “I’m never going to be the same.”
Johnson built his chronology after viewing surveillance footage this week that has not been publicly revealed. Oakland County Sheriff’s Office officials and prosecutors, meanwhile, declined to comment about the footage or respond to Johnson’s allegations and the security guard did not respond to a message seeking comment.
The new allegations emerged as Johnson moved to amend a civil lawsuit to name the security guard, a retired Oakland County sheriff’s deputy, as a defendant. According to the guard’s LinkedIn profile, she retired after more than 28 years as a sheriff’s deputy and spent more than two years working at the high school before leaving in June. Her bio lists her as being “involved in the November 30th school shooting.”
The allegations mark the latest legal fallout from the Oxford attack that also killed students Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Tate Myre, 16.
According to Johnson, the security guard was armed and should have known 15-year-old student Ethan Crumbley had launched an attack inside Oxford High at approximately 12:51 p.m. on Nov. 30. That is when the first shot was fired and as students ran and tried to hide.
“At that time, (the guard) should have immediately turned on her body camera, called for backup and medical assistance, and taken affirmative action to expeditiously locate and confront (Crumbley) to prevent harm to other students,” Johnson wrote in the proposed amended lawsuit.
The guard told investigators she assumed students were participating in an “ALICE” drill, according to the lawsuit. The drills are used to practice responses to situations involving active shooters. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.
At one point, the security guard spotted a victim on the floor of a hallway, according to Johnson’s filing.
“She saw Tate Myre’s body on the floor with him bleeding to death and informed the investigators that she thought he had ‘really good makeup’ on,” Johnson wrote.
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Source:: Los Angeles Daily News
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