A 15-year-old boy opened fire on a Michigan high school on Tuesday, killing three fellow students and injuring eight others, officials said.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told a news briefing hours after the Oxford High School stampede that investigators were at a loss to explain what might have caused “an unspeakable and unforgivable” act of violence.
Officials said among the victims was a 16-year-old boy, who died on his way to the hospital in a patrol car, and two girls aged 14 and 17.
Of the eight other people who were hit by bullets, seven were students, two of whom were hospitalized after being shot in the head.
Bouchard said at least two girls, aged 14 and 17, were seriously injured with chest wounds, one of them being put on a ventilator.
A teacher was also treated for a wound in the shoulder and later discharged.
The suspect, who was unarmed and taken into custody by the sheriff’s representatives, declined to speak to investigators minutes after the shooting began.
“The person who got the most information about the motive is not talking,” the sheriff told reporters.
Bouchard said he was unaware of any previous run-ins with law enforcement by the suspect, a high school student, adding that “there was nothing to suggest that he had disciplinary issues or problems with him at school.” “.
Bloodshed occurred around noon in Oxford, Michigan, about 40 miles north of Detroit, as terrified students and teachers took cover inside the school in an emergency service call with the center with more than 100 calls for help. The flood came.
Bouchard credits prompt action by his deputies, who confronted the young suspect with a loaded weapon towards a hallway, when he laid his head on and surrendered.
He said the boy was armed with a 9mm semi-automatic handgun that his father had bought on November 26.
The sheriff said the exact sequence of events during the violence is not clear, but police believe the boy kept the weapon in a backpack at school.
“The only information I have is that he came out of the bathroom with a weapon, and I don’t know where he went before,” Bouchard said.
Oakland County Executive David Coulter said the 15-year-old suspect, whose name was withheld by authorities for being a minor, is being detained in a special cell under suicide surveillance at a juvenile detention center.
“My heart goes out to the families who endure the unimaginable grief of losing their loved ones,” President Joe Biden told reporters while visiting a technical college in Minnesota.
The latest in a long series of US school shootings will likely spark debate about gun control and mental health care, with many states allowing easy access to firearms while mental health disorders often go untreated.
“This is a uniquely American problem that we need to address,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who arrived at the scene.
Student Abby Hodder told the Detroit Free Press that she was in chemistry class when she heard the sound of glass breaking.
“Run and scrambling like my teacher,” 15-year-old Hodder told the newspaper. “The next thing I knew I saw he was pushing the table. It’s part of school protocol, so we all knew, barricades, barricades down. And we all started pushing tables.”
In videos posted on social media, students can be seen in a barricaded classroom while someone outside shouts through the door that it is safe to come out, identifying themselves to be with the sheriff’s office.
But the teacher replied: “We are not taking that risk,” and the unreliable students who were afraid of the shooter, trying to lure him into the hall, went out the back window and were soon met by the uniformed deputies.