The suspect in Tuesday’s shooting at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit — the deadliest shooting on school property this year — was being held at a juvenile jail early Wednesday, awaiting possible charges in the death of three students and the wounding of eight other people at the school.
The authorities said the suspect was a 15-year-old sophomore, but did not identify him. They served a search warrant on Tuesday night at his family’s house in the village of Oxford, Mich.
The gunman fired 15 to 20 shots with a semiautomatic handgun before being apprehended, the authorities said. Michael McCabe, the Oakland County undersheriff, said the suspect, who had been in class earlier Tuesday, “gave up without any problems.”
When the boy’s parents went to a sheriff’s substation after the shooting, they declined to let investigators question their child, Undersheriff McCabe said.
The authorities said that they did not believe that the student had planned the shooting with anyone else and that they were still investigating whether it was a random or targeted shooting.
The county sheriff, Michael Bouchard, said that a 9-millimeter Sig Sauer handgun used in the shooting had been bought four days earlier by the suspect’s father. Sheriff Bouchard said the gunman was still armed, with seven bullets in the gun, when he was arrested by deputies in a school hallway.
Sheriff Bouchard said investigators had been told that the gunman pretended to be an officer in order to access barricaded classrooms.
The authorities identified the dead as Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; and Tate Myre, 16, who died in a sheriff’s squad car while on the way to a hospital.
The injured students ranged in age from 14 to 17, officials said, including three who were in critical condition late Tuesday and another who was in serious condition. The only adult who was shot, a 47-year-old teacher, was discharged from a hospital on Tuesday.
A sheriff’s deputy tried to rush Tate Myre, a 16-year-old who had recently won honors as a linebacker and tight end on his football team, to a hospital on Tuesday after the teenager was shot at Oxford High School.
He died in the patrol car.
“There was no time to wait,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard of Oakland County, Mich., said late Tuesday as the authorities released the names of the three students who were killed. “He tried to load him into the car to get him as fast as he could to a hospital, and he expired in the car.”
On Tuesday night, more than 25,000 people had signed a petition online to rename the school’s stadium after Tate, who had recently earned an all-region award from the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.
Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Hana St. Juliana, 14, also died in the attack.
At a news conference, Sheriff Bouchard said officials did not know whether the victims had been targeted. “We don’t know where he went first or why,” Sheriff Bouchard said of the suspect, a 15-year-old sophomore who has not been named.
Eight other people were injured, Sheriff Bouchard said, including a 14-year-old girl who was in critical condition with chest and neck wounds; a 15-year-old boy who was in critical condition with a head wound; a 17-year-old girl who was also in critical condition with chest wounds; a 14-year-old boy with serious jaw and head wounds; a 17-year-old girl who was shot in the neck; a 15-year-old boy who was shot in the left leg; and a 17-year-old boy who was wounded in the hip.
The sheriff said the wounded 14-year-old was placed on a ventilator after surgery: “It’s looking very tough for this young girl.”
A 47-year-old female teacher whose shoulder was grazed by a bullet was discharged from a hospital after treatment.
In a message posted on Facebook early Wednesday, Sheriff Bouchard said he had just left the school and that it was evident from the scene that the lockdown protocols that the school had in place saved lives.
“My heart aches for families that will never be the same and a quiet sweet community that had its innocence shattered,” he said.
Here are three students recounting what they saw when the shooting started at Oxford High School on Tuesday. The quotes have been edited for length and clarity.
“I was in my biology room, just like laughing with a couple of my friends, and, just like a normal day. And then I hear gunshots coming from close by — and my mood just switched. I went from laughing to crying in about a second.”
“We just got in the corner, and sat down exactly how we were supposed to — like we followed the protocols that we practiced, and everyone followed. No one talked, we didn’t scream or anything, we were just silent.”
“I was just walking in the hallway. And then just a bunch of kids start running at me. And I didn’t know what was happening. Then one kid yelled, ‘School shooter.’ Said he wasn’t sure, then he saw a trail of blood on the floor.”
“My brother texted my group chat with my parents and stuff. He’s like, ‘Help, he’s right by me.’”
“I sit right next to the door, and I heard boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.”
“There’s like loud noises in the school a lot. So we didn’t know 100 percent sure, but since we all heard the same thing, and you know, better be safe than sorry.”
“We just bombarded the door with a bunch of chairs, desk, everything we could find completely got the door shut down.”
The semiautomatic gun used in the shooting at a Michigan high school was purchased by the suspect’s father on Nov. 26, four days before Tuesday’s shooting.
Officials were not releasing the name of the suspect because he had not been charged as an adult. The boy’s parents were not allowing him to talk to police.
The firearm was a 9-millimeter Sig Sauer pistol, and it had seven remaining rounds loaded in the gun when the suspect was arrested, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said at a news conference on Tuesday night.
The sheriff said the gun had 15-round magazines. Law enforcement officials found two, but believed the father bought three.
Sheriff Bouchard said that officials did not know if there were other firearms in the suspect’s home, adding that was part of the investigation.
He confirmed that photos of a firearm, posted by the suspect on social media, appeared to be the same gun used in the shooting.