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US: 9 Including 2 Children Injured After Man Opens Fire At Michigan Water Park; Suspect Contained

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said a possible suspect had been contained in a home nearby.

AP
Police respond to the scene of a shooting at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad. Photo: AP
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At least nine persons, including two children, were injured after a shooter opened fire at a splash pad in Detroit Suburb in Rochester Hill, authorities said.

Families who gathered at the water park to get some relief from the scorching summer heat witnessed a man open fire at them. Earlier, authorities had said that they believed as many as 10 persons had suffered gunshot wounds in the shoot, however the number lowered after they checked with the local hospitals.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said an 8-year-old boy was struck in the head and is in a critical condition officials said. He noted the boy's mother also was in a critical condition after being wounded in the abdomen and leg, and his 4-year-old brother was in stable condition with a leg wound.

The incident took place just a little after 5 pm at a city park which has a recreational area with non-slip surface, where people can turn on water fountains and sprays for playing.

Bouchard said that the shooting seemed to be random, adding that the shooter walked up the splash pad and fired as many as 28 times by reloading multiple times in between.

At least one witness reported that the shooter appeared to use two hand guns during the attack, but that has not yet been confirmed, the sheriff said. He added that a handgun and three empty magazines were recovered.

The scene of shooting was cordoned off with tape and yellow evidence markers, which lay on the ground among vibrant folding chairs in the splash pad.

Bouchard said that as the man opened fire, chaos ensued and in that situation, "people were falling, getting hit, trying to run".

“Terrible things that unfortunately all of us in our law enforcement business have seen way too much," he said. The sheriff noted that the shooter was "apparently in no rush. Just calmly walked back to his car".

In a post on X, the Oakland County Sheriff's office had said that there was still an active crime scene, asking people to stay away from the area for the moment. "We have numerous wounded victims," they had said. Bouchard said that it was safe for those hiding in the park to go back home.

SUSPECT FOUND DEAD

Bouchard had earlier said a possible suspect had been contained in a home nearby, adding that police officials had the home surrounded. He said that law enforcement officials were trying to make contact with the suspect, but nothing came of it.

Later, they sent a drone inside the home and then entered, only to find the suspect dead.

Bouchard said that another weapon was found inside, adding that the quick containment of the suspect might have prevented a "second chapter" to the shooting.

The weapon recovered from the home was a semiautomatic rifle and another handgun which they believed was used by the suspect to take his life.

As per the sheriff, the suspect did not live in Rochester Hills and investigators do not yet know why he went to the splash pad.

Without revealing his name, Bouchard described him as a 42-year-old white male and said officials believed that he lived with his mother.

Bouchard noted that the agency's services of simultaneously sending emergency calls to first responders, led the cops to hear the 911 call reporting the shooting. He said that an officer was at the scene within two minutes.

The Oakland County sheriff said that the shooting is a "gut punch" for the country, adding that "we've gone through so many tragedies".

In 2021, a 15-year-old fatally shot four high school students in Oxford, which is about 24 kilometres from Rochester Hills.

“You know, we're not even fully comprehending what happened at Oxford. And, you know, now we have another complete tragedy that we're dealing with," Bouchard said.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer also took to X and said that she was heartbroken to learn of the shooting. "We are monitoring the situation as updates continue to come in, and are in touch with local officials," she added.

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said that he started to cry when got to the scene "because I know what a splash pad is supposed to be", a place for people to gather and have fun.

The shooting was a reminder “that we live in a fragile place,” Barnett said.

(With AP inputs)

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