The teenager who opened fire inside Oxford High School in the north of Detroit on Tuesday, killing three students, has been taken into custody, officials said.
The suspect, a sophomore student at the school in Oxford, Michigan, is believed to have used his father’s gun, purchased just last week in the Black Friday sales.
A semi-automatic handgun — a 9MM Sig Sauer SP2022 pistol — was recovered from him by law enforcement officers. It still contained at least seven more rounds, Oakland County sheriff Michael Bouchard said.
Between 15 and 20 rounds had been fired in the school, police said, on the basis of the shell casings located at the scene.
The 15-year-old suspect’s parents have not allowed him to talk to the police and have hired an attorney, Oakland County undersheriff Michael G McCabe said.
The motive behind the shooting has not yet been ascertained as police officials continue to search the sophomore’s house for more evidence, where they found long guns.
The suspect allegedly posted photos of a semi-automatic handgun on social media prior to the attack, according to Mr Bouchard. He also allegedly shared what appeared to be a countdown, Fox 2 Detroit reported.
The three students who died have been identified as Madisyn Baldwin (17), Tate Myre (16) and Hana St Juliana (14). At least eight others, including a teacher, were injured and are undergoing treatment at a hospital.
Alarming visuals from the shooting showed more than a dozen students trapped in a classroom after blocking the door with chairs, while the armed suspect walked the corridors.
Scared students were seen carefully observing the movements outside the classroom and eventually escaping through a window to another part of the school.
While the group of students were hiding in the classroom, the view shows, a male voice can be heard identifying himself as an officer from the sheriff’s office and asked them to open the door. But the students said they were not willing to take that risk. The voice outside the door then said: “Just open the door ... bro.” Students identified the word “bro” as a red flag and exited the classroom through a window.
The video of the classroom was shared widely on social media, including on Twitter by the journalist Philip Lewis.
Responding to it, a user named Kim Houchen said: “That student who noticed he used the word ‘bro’, [saying] ‘big red flag.’ Impressive. I cannot imagine having that kind of maturity in that situation when I was in high school. What have we done to our kids.”
Students recounted the horror and said that they grabbed sharp objects in case the shooter managed to break into their locked classroom.
“We heard two gunshots and after that, my teacher ran into the room, locked it, barricaded and then we covered the windows and hid,” Aiden Page, a student at the school, said.
“We grabbed calculators, we grabbed scissors just in case the shooter got in and we had to attack them,” Page said, adding that a bullet had pierced one of the desks he and other students used to seal off the classroom door.
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