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Michigan: Student,15, kills three and wounds eight in Michigan school shooting

·3-min read
Michigan: Student,15, kills three and wounds eight in Michigan school shooting

A 15-year-old boy opened fire in a Michigan high school on Tuesday killing three fellow students and wounding eight others before he was arrested, authorities said.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told a news briefing hours after the rampage at Oxford High School that investigators were at a loss to explain what might have precipitated “an unspeakable and unforgivable” act of violence.

The victims were a 16-year-old boy who succumbed to his wounds en route to hospital in a patrol car, and two girls, aged 14 and 17, authorities said.

Of the eight others struck by gunfire, seven were students, two of them hospitalised with gunshot wounds to the head.

At least two girls, aged 14 and 17, were described by Bouchard as critically wounded with chest wounds, one of them placed on a ventilator.

A teacher was also treated for a shoulder wound and later discharged.

The suspect, disarmed and taken into custody by sheriff's deputies minutes after the shooting began, has declined to speak with investigators.

"The person who's got the most insight on 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 sophomore, adding there was "nothing to suggest that there had been disciplinary issues or problems with him at school".

The bloodshed unfolded around midday in Oxford, Michigan, about 40 miles north of Detroit, as terrified students and teachers taking cover inside the school flooded an emergency service call with centre with more than 100 calls for assistance.

Bouchard credited swift action by his deputies who confronted the young suspect advancing down a hallway toward them with a loaded weapon, when he put his hands over his head and surrendered.

He said the boy was armed with a 9 millimeter semi-automatic handgun his father had purchased on November 26.

The precise sequence of events during the violence remained unclear, but police believe the boy carried the weapon into the school in a backpack, the sheriff said.

"The only information I have is that he came out of a bathroom with a weapon, and I don't know where he went first," Bouchard said.

The 15-year-old suspect, whose name was withheld by authorities because he is a minor, is being detained in a special cell under suicide watch at a juvenile detention center, Oakland County Executive David Coulter said.

‘American problem’

"My heart goes out to the families enduring the unimaginable grief of losing a loved one," President Joe Biden told reporters while touring a Minnesota technical college.

The latest in a long series of US school shootings will likely fuel debates about gun control and mental health care, with many states allowing easy access to firearms while mental health disorders frequently go untreated.

"This is a uniquely American problem that we need to address," said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who rushed to the scene.

Student Abbey Hodder told the Detroit Free Press she was in chemistry class when she heard the sound of glass breaking.

"My teacher kind of ran out and was scrambling," Hodder, 15, told the newspaper. "The next thing I knew I saw he was pushing tables. It's part of school protocol to barricade, so we all knew, barricade, barricade down. And we all started pushing tables."

Video posted on social media showed students huddled in a barricaded classroom while someone outside shouts through the door that it is safe to come out, identifying himself as being with the sheriff's office.

But the teacher responds: "We're not taking that risk," and incredulous students who feared the shooter might have been trying to lure them into the hall escaped out a back window and were soon met by uniformed deputies.

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