OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Michigan (AP) – A fourth student, a 17-year-old boy, died Wednesday from wounds he suffered when a sophomore student opened fire at a Michigan high school the day before, the shared Authorities with.
Other dead included a 16-year-old boy who died in a police officer’s patrol car on his way to a hospital. Eight people were injured, some of them life-threatening, including a 14-year-old girl who was put on a ventilator after an operation.
Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for Tuesday’s shooting at Oxford High School, located in a community of about 22,000 people about 30 miles north of Detroit, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said.
“The person with the greatest insight and the motive does not speak,” he said late Tuesday at a press conference.
Around noon, MPs rushed to school when more than 100 calls flooded the emergency response centers with reports of a rifleman. They arrested the student in a hallway within minutes of their arrival. He raised his hands in the air as the MPs approached, Bouchard said.
The boy’s father bought the 9mm Sig Sauer that was used in shooting on Friday, Bouchard said. He doesn’t know why the man bought the semi-automatic pistol his son posted pictures of and practiced shooting, Bouchard said.
The authorities did not immediately reveal the boy’s name.
The four students who were killed were 16-year-old Tate Myre, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin and Justin Shilling, who died Wednesday.
Bouchard said Myre died in a patrol car when a police officer tried to take him to an emergency room.
A teacher left the hospital with a graze on his shoulder, but seven students, ages 14-17, stayed in the hospital all night with gunshot wounds, he said.
The gun the boy was carrying contained seven more rounds of ammunition when he surrendered, Bouchard said.
Undersheriff Mike McCabe said the student’s parents advised their son not to speak to investigators. Police must ask permission from a youth’s parent or guardian to speak to them, he added.
Oakland County Attorney Karen McDonald said in a statement that her office expected to file charges quickly and that an update would be given on Wednesday.
Authorities became aware of posts on social media saying the school was about to be shot at with around 1,700 students, but Bouchard said they did not know about the rumors until after the attack.
He stressed the importance of sending such leads to the authorities, but also warned against spreading rumors on social media before opening a full investigation.
McCabe also downplayed the importance of a situation in which a deer’s head was thrown from the school roof in early November in what he believed had “absolutely nothing” to do with the shooting. The vandalism caused the school administration to post two letters to the parents on the school’s website responding to rumors of a threat to the school but finding none.
Bouchard said the student in custody had never had a previous argument with his department and was unaware of any disciplinary history at school.
“This is part of our investigation to see what happened prior to this event and if some signs were missed, how were they missed and why,” he said.
The campus was locked down during the attack, with some children taking shelter in locked classrooms. They were later taken to a nearby Meijer grocery store to be picked up by their parents.
The district said in a statement that all of its schools would be closed for the remainder of the week.
Isabel Flores, a 15-year-old ninth grader, told WJBK-TV that she and other students heard gunshots and saw another student bleed from the face. They then ran out of the area through the back of the school, she said.
Authorities said they were searching the suspect’s cell phone, school video footage and social media posts for clues about a possible subject.
The school administration posted two letters to parents on the school’s website in November responding to rumors of a threat to the school following a bizarre incident of vandalism.
According to a letter from school principal Steve Wolf dated Nov. 4, someone tossed a deer head from the school roof into a courtyard, painted several roof windows with red acrylic paint, and used the same color on concrete near the school building during the early morning hours. Without explicitly referring to this incident, a second post on November 12 assured that âit did not threaten our building or our studentsâ.
Both the sheriff and the undersheriff stressed that Tuesday’s shooting had nothing to do with the deer head or any previous investigation by their office.
“That was a different incident, a different student,” said McCabe.
A concerned parent, Robin Redding, said their son Treshan Bryant was a twelfth student at the school but stayed home Tuesday. Redding said her son heard threats that a shootout could break out.
“It can’t be coincidental,” she said.
Bryant said he texted several younger cousins ââthat morning and they said they didn’t want to go to school and he had a bad feeling. He asked his mother if he could do his chores online.
Bryant said he had heard vague threats of plans for a shootout “for a long time”.
At a vigil Tuesday night at LakePoint Community Church, Leeann Dersa choked back tears as she hugged friends and neighbors. Dersa has lived in Oxford for almost all of her 73 years. Her grandchildren attended high school.
âSomething terrible frightened us all. It’s horrible, âDersa said of the shooting.
Pastor Jesse Holt said he and his wife had received news of the shooting, including texts from some of the 20-25 students who make up the 400-strong congregation.
âSome were very scared and hid under their desks and wrote to us, ‘We are safe, we are all right. We heard gunshots, but we’re fine. ‘ They tried to calm us down, or at least that’s what it felt like, âhe said.