$350,000 lawsuit filed in Ohio school shooting

Three students and their families have filed a civil lawsuit following the February shooting at Madison Junior/Senior High School.

The more than $350,000 lawsuit against Austin Hancock, convicted of bringing a gun to school and firing the shots that injured four classmates, was filed June 15, just days after Hancock, now 15, was sentenced to the Ohio Department of Youth Services until his 21st birthday.

Attorney Blake R. Maislin of Cincinnati filed the lawsuit on behalf of students Cameron Smith, Brant Murray and his sister, Genna, and their parents.

The lawsuit alleges negligence and recklessness by Hancock and his family that led to the shooting in the school cafeteria on Feb. 29.

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Students Cooper Caffrey and Katherine Douchette, who were injured in the shooting, are not a part of the lawsuit.

Melody Hollinsworth, legal custodian of Smith, and Ginger Weaver, mother of Brant and Genna, brought the lawsuit against Hancock’s parents, James T. and Sarah Hancock and his grandparents Brian and Donna Hancock, for emotional distress and medical expenses in the wake of the shooting.

Investigators have said Hancock got the the gun used in the shooting from his grandparent’s home. Guns were found after the shooting at Hancock’s Browns Run Road residence, but they were locked up, investigators say.

Shrapnel struck Brant Murray when Hancock pulled a gun out of his lunch box and began shooting. Brant’s sister, Genna, was not hit, but was in the “zone of danger (and) suffered severe emotional distress,” according to the lawsuit.

The family and victims are suing Hancock’s parents for “negligence, recklessness and wanton breach of duty.” They are also suing his grandparents, the owners of the handgun, for allowing Hancock to obtain the weapon, the lawsuit states.

Hollingsworth and Weaver are also suing because they claim they lost the “love (and) affection, solace and services of their minors.”

The case has been assigned to Butler County Common Pleas Judge Michael Oster and a jury trial is requested. There have been no hearing dates set.

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