© Reuters. Emergency personnel responded to the scene of a deadly shooting that killed at least three people and injured six at an institute in Oxford, Michigan, north of Detroit (55 km) in the U.S. on November 30, 2021. REUTERS / Seth Herald
(Reuters) – A 15-year-old boy has killed three high school classmates and injured eight others in a Michigan high school when he fired a semi-automatic pistol, and was immediately arrested, police said.
One of those injured was a teacher and the rest were from Oxford High School, Michigan, 40 miles (65 km) north of Detroit, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said.
The motive for the shooting was unknown, authorities said.
The dead were a 16-year-old boy, a 17-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl, Sheriff Michael McCabe told reporters at the scene.
Two of the injured were in surgery and six were in stable condition, McCabe said.
The suspect, a second-grader at the school, was believed to have acted alone and was arrested without resistance after a 15-20 shooting, McCabe said.
“The whole thing lasted five minutes,” McCabe said.
The suspect did not disclose anything to police and when his parents advised him not to speak he asked for the right to be a lawyer, McCabe said.
“My heart goes out to families who suffer the grief of losing a loved one,” President Joe Biden told reporters as he toured a technical university in Minnesota.
The latest in a long series of shootings in U.S. schools will encourage discussions about gun control and mental health care, as many states allow firearms to be easily accessed while mental health disorders are not often treated.
“It’s an exclusive American issue that we need to solve,” said Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who went there and appeared in front of the media with McCabe.
But Whitmer, a Democrat who has been heavily criticized by right-wing militias and gun supporters, also told reporters it was inappropriate to discuss specific policies on the ground.
“Right now, I think we need to focus on the tragedy that’s going on here,” he said.
Student Abbey Hodder told the Detroit Free Press that she was in chemistry class when she heard the sound of a broken glass.
“My teacher ran out and was confused,” Hodder, 15, told the newspaper. “The next thing I knew I saw was pushing the tables. It’s part of the school protocol to make barricades, so we all knew, barricade, barricade down. And we all started pushing the tables.”
McCabe praised the school for preparing for a shooting and orderly evacuation.
The shooting highlighted how students should decide when to get out of the shelter when the shootings stop.
The video posted on social media showed that while the students were huddled in a barricaded classroom, it was safe to shout that someone outside was knocking on the door, identifying them with the sheriff’s office. But the teacher responds “we don’t take that risk,” and the unbelieving students who were afraid of the shooter were trying to lure him into the room when they ran out of a back window and were soon made into uniformed deputies.