School officials unknowingly gave Michigan shooting suspect his backpack with gun and magazines, lawyer says

A high school counselor and dean unknowingly handed a backpack containing the gun to a shooting suspect, and magazine officials say he killed four people and injured seven others in Oxford, Michigan last year, an attorney representing the victims' families said on May 12 Thursday.
The exchange took place in the hours before the shooting, at a meeting the then 15-year-old suspect was summoned to after a math teacher found a note card on his desk that contained a gun, a bullet and several troubling phrases about were seen, including "Blood Everywhere". and "the thoughts will not stop," attorney Ven Johnson told reporters.
Details of the exchange come from affidavits obtained by school officials after several families sued the Oxford Community School District in federal court last year.
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The lawsuit, seeking $100 million in damages, accused the district of gross negligence and argued that the Nov. 30 shooting was "entirely preventable."
During the meeting with Advisor Shawn Hopkins and Dean Nicholas Ejak, the student was "really worried" about the lack of chemistry class and asked for his homework and backpack, Johnson said.
Hopkins went to get the bag, Johnson said. According to Hopkins, Johnson said the counselor commented on the backpack's weight after the teacher gave it to him.
After returning to the meeting, Hopkins gave the bag to Ejak, who passed it on to the teenager.
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"None of them said they even thought for a second to ask ... 'Hey dude, show us what's in there,'" Johnson said. "'We just want to make sure everything's cool.'"
Hopkins told the suspect's parents, who attended the meeting, that if they didn't seek help for their son within 48 hours, he would report them to the local child protection agency.
The student returned to class around 11 a.m. and is charged with opening fire just before 1 p.m., Johnson said.
Johnson said some school officials overlooked other red flags, including an incident on Nov. 29 when the suspect's teacher was seen viewing pictures of bullets on his phone.
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After the teacher began reviewing his classwork and noting that his interests "leaned toward the violent side," Johnson said, she reported what she found to other school officials, including Hopkins. Johnson said none of the officers appeared to have investigated the matter.
In another incident earlier this year, Johnson said the suspect's Spanish teacher asked Hopkins to speak to her student because an autobiographical poem suggested he felt "terrible and that his family is a mistake."
Hopkins spoke to the teacher, who said she was no longer concerned because she believed the student was talking about homework and not his life, Johnson said.
An attorney for Hopkins and Ejak did not respond to a request for comment Thursday. In a court filing, the school's lawyers dismissed the allegations in the families' lawsuit, calling some of them inaccurate.
The teenager has pleaded not guilty to two dozen charges including murder. His parents have also been charged with involuntary manslaughter and have pleaded not guilty.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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