Authorities said a 15-year-old student was arrested Tuesday after he fatally shot three students and wounded eight others, including a teacher. at a high school near Detroit.
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said it received more than 100 calls about an active shooter around 12:51 p.m. local time. Oxford High School in Oxford Town, a suburb about 35 miles north of Detroit.
The boy, a sophomore at the school, was taken into custody within minutes of the shooting, Sheriff Mike McCabe said. A deputy assigned to the school as liaison helped arrest the suspect. According to McCabe, the suspect fired between 15 and 20 shots during the incident.
“He didn’t give us any resistance when he was arrested,” McCabe said. “The whole thing lasted five minutes.”
The three dead students, a 16-year-old boy, a 14-year-old girl and a 17-year-old female student, have yet to be identified. Of the eight others shot, two are undergoing surgery and six are in stable condition, McCabe said.
Authorities did not say if anyone was targeted and did not release any information about a motive. McCabe said authorities are investigating whether there were any warnings prior to the shooting or whether the student had a history of violence. He said students and others would be questioned.
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A semi-automatic handgun has been recalled. McCabe said the suspect, whose name was not released, invoked his right to remain silent and refused to speak to authorities in depth. He said the boy’s parents “didn’t want their son to talk to us, and they hired a lawyer.”
Oxford high school students described a chaotic scene in which a voice over the intercom announced an active shooting.
At first, they said, they didn’t know if it was a drill.
When they realized that wasn’t true, they were struck with fear and panic. They said teachers had locked and barricaded doors and covered windows, and that some students had fled. Those with cell phones were quietly texting to alert their parents and friends of what was happening.
Some students said they heard a loud bang.
Abbey Hodder, 15, a sophomore, was in a chemistry class when she thought she heard glass breaking.
“Then my teacher ran out and ran into a fight… and the next thing I knew, I saw him pushing the table. … Barriers are part of school regulations, so we all know, barriers, barriers. And we all started pushing the table,” she said.
Isabel Flores told WJBK, a Fox affiliate, that she and other students heard gunshots and saw one student bleeding from his face. Flores, 15, a 9th grader, said they ran from this area through the area behind the school.
Robin Redding, the parent of a 12th grader, said her son was at home on Tuesday. She said he had heard threats of a shooting at the school.
“This can’t just be random,” she said. “He just said, ‘Mom, I don’t feel comfortable. None of the kids we went to school with were going to school today. ‘”
Redding expressed concern about school safety in general and did not provide specifics about what her son had heard.
“I was shocked,” said Tim Throne, director of the Oxford Community School. “It’s brutal.”
Throne says the school doesn’t have metal detectors and he doesn’t believe there’s been a discussion about them. McCabe said authorities knew how the student brought the weapon, but did not elaborate.
Schools have been put on lockdown, and some students have taken shelter in locked classrooms. They were led to a nearby store parking lot after police secured the school and detained the suspect. The school district says parents can pick up students at a nearby community center.
Oxford Community School said all other schools in the area were closed for safety purposes.
A series of ambulances were parked on the snow-covered lawn on Tuesday afternoon. Live broadcasts from the television news showed a medical helicopter landing at the school. At least one person was taken to the helicopter around 2:30pm
Governor Gretchen Whitmer was among the elected officials who expressed condolences to the victims.
“Gun violence is a public health crisis that takes lives every day. We have the tools to reduce gun violence in Michigan. This is a time for us to come together and help our children feel safe at school,” Whitmer said in a statement.
President Joe Biden was briefed on the shooting after touring a technical college in Rosemount, Minnesota, to introduce his infrastructure law.
“My heart goes out to the families in the unimaginable pain of losing a loved one,” Biden said. “You have to know that entire community must be in a state of shock right now.”
Everytown for Gun Safety, a national nonprofit that promotes stricter gun control, said in the past several months the number of schoolyard shootings and people being shot was the largest since the organization. began tracking such incidents in 2013.
The organization says September and October are the months with the most incidents on record – 32.
This year, there have been at least 651 mass shootings – defined as an incident in which four or more people were shot or killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks such incidents. .
Contributors: Joey Garrison, USA TODAY; Lily Altavena, Liz Shepard and Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press; Related press