A 15-year-old sophomore opened fire on his Michigan high school on Tuesday, killing three students and injuring six others, including a teacher, authorities said.
Oakland County Deputy Sheriff Mike McCabe told a press conference he was unsure of the assailant’s motives for the attack at Oxford High School in the Oxford Township, a community of about 22,000 people approximately 30 miles north of Detroit.
Officers responded at around 12:55 p.m. to a flood of 911 calls regarding an active shooter at the school, McCabe said. Authorities arrested the suspect at school and recovered a semi-automatic handgun and several clips.
“The deputies confronted him, he had the gun with him, they took him into custody,” McCabe said, adding that the suspect was not injured when he was taken into custody at view and declined to say how he brought the gun into the school.
Authorities did not immediately release the names of the suspect or victims.
Tim Throne, the superintendent of community schools in Oxford, said he did not yet know the names of the victims or whether their families had been contacted.
“I’m shocked. It’s devastating,” the shocked superintendent told reporters.
The school was locked after the attack, with some children sheltering in locked classrooms while officers searched the premises. They were then taken to a nearby Meijer grocery store to be picked up by their parents.
Isabel Flores told WJBK-TV that she and other students heard gunshots and saw another student bleeding from the face.
They then fled the area through the back of the school, said Flores, a 15-year-old ninth grader.
McCabe said investigators would search social media posts for any evidence of a possible motive.
Robin Redding said her son Treshan Bryant was in grade 12 at school but stayed home on Tuesday. She said he heard threats of shooting at school.
“It couldn’t be just random,” she said.
Redding did not provide details of what her son heard, but expressed concern about school safety in general.
“The kids, like they’re just mad at each other in this school,” she said.
Bryant said he texted several younger cousins in the morning and said they didn’t want to go to school, and he got a bad feeling. He asked his mother if he could do his homework online.
Bryant said he had heard vague threats “for a long time now” about plans for a school shooting.
“You’re not supposed to play about it,” he said of the threats. “This is real life.”
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was one of many elected officials who expressed their condolences to the victims.
“Gun violence is a public health crisis that claims victims every day. We have the tools to reduce gun violence in Michigan. Now is the time for us to come together and help our children feel safe at school, ”Whitmer said in a statement.