At least 9 people shot at Michigan recreation center before suspect is found dead

At least 9 people shot at Michigan recreation center before suspect is found dead
At least 9 people shot at Michigan recreation center before suspect is found dead

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details At least 9 people shot at Michigan recreation center before suspect is found dead in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - WASHINGTON – Police are looking for a motive after at least nine people were shot in what appears to be a random shooting that sent panicked families fleeing a crowded recreation area in Rochester Hills, Michigan, Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

A gunman pulled up to the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad, got out of a vehicle and opened fire roughly 20 feet away, reloading multiple times, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. The suspect fired “potentially 28 times,” the sheriff said.

“Under no circumstances is it normal for ice cream cones and flip flops to be strewn amongst blood and bullet casings,” said Michigan Rep. John James at a press conference Saturday night.

The suspect, a 42-year-old man who has not yet been named by authorities, was found with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at a nearby home after police tracked the weapon from the shooting to an address half a mile from the crime scene, Bouchard said at a news conference Saturday night.

The victims, including two small children and their mother, were injured in the shooting and taken to four local hospitals with “varying kinds of injuries,” according to Bouchard.

“When I got on scene, I started to cry,” said Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett Saturday night. “Because I know what a splash pad is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be a place where people gather, where families make memories, where people have fun and enjoy a Saturday afternoon and it wasn’t today.”

An 8-year-old boy is in critical condition after suffering a gunshot wound to the head and and his 4-year-old brother was shot in the thigh and is in stable condition, Bouchard said. Their 39-year-old mother with wounds to the abdomen and leg was also in critical condition.

Six other gunshot victims, including three women and three men ranging in age from 30 to 78 years old, were in stable condition Saturday night.

The incident appears to be “random” as the suspect has “no connectivity to the victims,” and authorities have yet to determine a motivation for the attack, the sheriff said.

The suspect also did not have a prior criminal history, Bouchard said.

“We’ll be looking for any evidence ... that would give us an inclination of what may be driving this individual prior to this terrible moment,” Bouchard said.

Officials say the shooting comes at a time when the community was still recovering from two mass shootings in the state in recent years. In February 2023, a gunman killed three Michigan State University students and critically wounded five others. A couple years prior, a teenager killed four students at an Oxford, Michigan, high school in 2021.

“We’re not even fully comprehending what happened at Oxford, and now we have another complete tragedy that we’re dealing with,” Bouchard said.

The shooting extends the list of around 220 mass shootings in the country so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The archive, like CNN, defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter.

Bouchard said the gunman arrived at the splash pad and opened fire with a Glock 9 mm handgun.

“It looked chaotic. You could see people kind of just enjoying the day and then it was a scramble,” Bouchard said, referencing video of the shooting. “People were falling, getting hit, trying to run.”

Detectives uncovered 28 shell casings at the scene, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

“He started firing once he was out of his car from the base of the steps, climbing the steps, reloading and then was firing from the top of the steps in the splash pad area before he left and appeared to leave in no rush, just calmly walked back to his car,” Bouchard said, citing evidence from the scene.

The first 911 call alerting police to the incident was made around 5:11 p.m. Bouchard said a Rochester Hills sergeant responded to the scene within two minutes – before the call was dispatched. By that point, the suspect had already fled the scene, according to Bouchard.

Authorities located a 9-millimeter Glock semiautomatic handgun and three empty magazines at the scene, the sheriff said at a press conference Saturday.

After the shooting, police traced the weapon found at the scene to a nearby home, where they found a vehicle matching a description of the one that drove away from the scene of the shooting, according to the sheriff.

The home, within a half mile from the crime scene, was surrounded by officers, SWAT teams and armored vehicles, the sheriff said.

The suspect was not known to authorities until they did a “quick investigation” and determined who they believed was involved based on evidence from the crime scene.

Police had containment on the home within 45 minutes to one hour, according to Bouchard. There was “an acknowledgment that we were there and we heard or saw him,” Bouchard said.

After making attempts to contact the suspect, law enforcement “breached the home and deployed drones to begin an examination of the home,” and located the deceased suspect, Bouchard said during a media conference Saturday night.

Investigators believed there were potentially more weapons in the home but it was unclear if the suspect had access to them, according to Bouchard. Authorities said Saturday that they had been working on obtaining a search warrant for the home where the suspect was.

Police later found a handgun next to the deceased suspect inside the home. A drone that flew into the home while police surrounded it also found what appeared to be an “AR-platform” firearm on the kitchen table, Bouchard said Saturday night.

“It wouldn’t surprise me – because having that on the kitchen table is not an everyday activity – that there was probably something else, a second chapter, potentially,” Bouchard said.

Police said the investigation is ongoing as they work to “determine if there’s either a digital or a paper trail that would give us some insight” and piece together a timeline of how the shooting unfolded. Whether or not the suspect posted any relevant information on social media or has anything on his devices will also be part of the investigation, officials said.

“It’s gonna be one of those challenges to try to figure out why there appears to be no connection between the victims and the location whatsoever. A person doesn’t live in Rochester Hills. He went to a Rochester Hills Park,” Bouchard said.

Authorities have also recovered video evidence from a nearby camera and are looking for bullet fragments, Bouchard said.

The sheriff called the incident a “gut punch,” and stressed the community is still reeling from the 2021 shooting at a high school in Oxford, just 15 miles north of Rochester Hills.

“None of us in this room, in this community or in this country, anticipated going into Father’s Day weekend with this kind of tragedy – that families will be deeply affected by forever,” Bouchard said at a news conference Saturday night.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she is in contact with local officials following the shooting.

“I am heartbroken to learn about the shooting in Rochester Hills,” she wrote. “We are monitoring the situation as updates continue to come in, and are in touch with local officials.” -- CNN

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