15-year-old shooter ‘did not give us any resistance when he was taken into custody,’ undersheriff says
Three people are dead and six are injured after an active shooter situation shut down a Michigan high school. Police have said that the suspect is a 15-year-old student at the school, that he used a semi-automatic handgun, and that he fired more than 15 shots, using multiple magazines.
Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe said at a press briefing that he didn’t know what the shooter’s motives were for the attack at Oxford High School in Oxford Township, a community of about 22,000 people roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Detroit.
Mr McCabe added that the first emergency call was received at 12.51pm and that a suspect was in custody five minutes later. He added that more than a hundred 911 calls were made concerning the shooting.
One of the injured victims is a teacher, Mr McCabe said during a press briefing. All the other victims, including the three who died, are believed to be students.
Mr McCabe said the wounded are at “local hospitals being treated for various injuries”.
He added that the 15-year-old shooter “did not give us any resistance when he was taken into custody” and that he invoked his right to an attorney, choosing not to speak to officers.
“Multiple shell casings” were found in the school, Mr McCabe said.
“He had the weapon on him [when officers] took him into custody,” he added.
“There was an orderly evacuation, the school did everything right,” the Oakland County undersheriff said. “Everybody remained in place. They barricaded themselves.”
Almost 60 ambulances responded to the scene, according to a fire department official.
Parents were asked to avoid the campus and to instead meet students leaving the school at the parking lot of a nearby store.
A student named Jacob told WXYZ that his teacher was making calls trying to find out if the lockdown was a drill.
“Moments later he’s like, ‘okay guys, this isn’t a drill’. After hearing this … I’m still thinking ‘okay, this is probably a suspicious person, walking around campus, they’ll get them in a minute and it’ll be over,” he said.
He added that he started seeing in various group chats with his friends that people were being shot. “At this point, I have no idea what’s going on,” he said. “We don’t know if there’s a shooter outside our doorway.”
“Our only connection to the outside is those group chats and I’m hearing from people that people got shot, people are hurt, people are running out of the school,” Jacob added.
He said he saw images of “bullet holes in the windows” on social media.
He said that as they were texting their parents, a police officer with a rifle knocked on their classroom door, telling them to get out. “It was just unbelievable,” he said.
While police have said that the suspect was in custody five minutes after reports of the shooting reached law enforcement, Jacob told WXYZ that they “were sitting in there like 25 minutes, half an hour”.
He said they had the lights off and were “trying to communicate with whoever we can get ahold of”.
Tim Throne, the superintendent of Oxford Community Schools, said he didn’t know yet know the victims’ names or whether their families had been contacted.
“I’m shocked. It’s devastating,” the superintendent told reporters.
Isabel Flores told WJBK-TV that she and other students heard gunshots and saw another student bleeding from the face.
They then ran from the area through the rear of the school, the 15-year-old ninth-grader said.
Mr McCabe said investigators would be looking through social media posts for any evidence of a possible motive.
Robin Redding said her son is a 12th grader at the school but stayed home on Tuesday. She said he had heard threats of a shooting at the school.
“This couldn’t be just random,” she said.
Ms Redding didn’t provide specifics about what her son had heard, but she expressed concern with school safety in general.
“Kids just, like they’re just mad at each other at this school,” she said.
State Senator Rosemary Bayer, a Democrat, issued a statement saying that “the news of today’s school shooting at Oxford High School is simply horrifying. On top of an already difficult situation with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, our students now have to face this traumatic situation in a place that is supposed to be a safe space for learning and growth”.
“My heart goes out to all those involved,” she added. “I am working with local authorities to understand all the information and provide as much assistance as my office can. I encourage anyone with information about this situation to share it with the police, and I thank our local responders for their swift assistance and response during this difficult time.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report