Oxford, MI – The 15-year-old gunman accused of murdering four classmates and wounding seven other people selected his victims at random and was “shooting to kill,” according to the Oakland County sheriff.
He also pretended to be a law enforcement officer in an attempt to convince barricaded students to allow him into their classroom, cell phone footage showed.
The students didn’t fall for the ruse and were able to reach safety through another door.
The shooting occurred at Oxford High school shortly after 1 p.m. on Nov. 30.
More than 100 people called 911 to report the active shooter, Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe said, according to NBC News.
Officers had the suspect in custody within five minutes of the initial 911 call, he noted.
“These victims, based on the early look at what we’ve got evidence wise, I think it was random,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said Wednesday morning, according to the Associated Press. “Absolutely, unequivocally he was shooting to kill people.”
Undersheriff McCabe said investigators recovered multiple shell casings inside the school, KVVU reported.
They believe the gunman fired 15 to 20 rounds during the incident.
“At this point in time, we believe he acted alone,” Undersheriff McCabe noted.
The kid who shot 11 of his classmates killing 3 and injuring 8 in Michigan was going to locked classes pretending to be a sheriff’s deputy in order to trick them to opening the door to the classroom. pic.twitter.com/2vqZ0yHqY3
— MANDO (@Jaysen_clark) December 1, 2021
The four teens murdered in the attack have been identified as 16-year-old Tate Myre, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, and 17-year-old Justin Shilling, WJBK reported.
A deputy was rushing Myre to a hospital in a patrol vehicle when the teen died of his wounds, the Associated Press reported.
Baldwin, a senior, was slated to graduate in the spring and had multiple college admission offers, including some with full-ride scholarships, her grandmother said.
“I’m just glad that we all got together for Thanksgiving. Just today, we were talking about all the things that are planned for this coming weekend and… hundreds, thousands of people have reached out already, (saying) that she was an important part of their lives and touched them already. It’s just devastating,” the grandmother said, according to the Associated Press. “She touched so many people, she had so much patience, she was so kind.”
Six of the seven victims who were wounded in the attack are students at Oxford High, WDIV reported.
A 14-year-old boy suffered head and jaw wounds, a 15-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound to the head is in critical condition, and another 15-year-old boy was shot in the leg and is in stable condition.
A 14-year-old girl who was shot in the chest and neck was placed on a ventilator after surgery and remained in critical condition.
Two 17-year-old girls were also wounded, WJBK reported.
One girl was shot in the neck and listed in stable condition, and the second was shot in the chest and is listed in critical condition.
The eighth wounded victim was a 47-year-old teacher who suffered a graze wound to the shoulder, WDIV reported.
The teacher has been discharged from the hospital.
Sheriff Bouchard said deputies were able to apprehend the unnamed gunman when he came out of a bathroom holding a loaded semiautomatic handgun, the Associated Press reported.
The weapon still had seven rounds, according to the sheriff.
“I believe they literally saved lives having taken down the suspect with a loaded firearm while still in the building,” Sheriff Bouchard said.
About 1,700 students attend Oxford High School, according to the Associated Press.
Investigators have not released a motive for the attack.
The suspect refused to speak with investigators and has requested an attorney, Undersheriff McCabe told reporters Tuesday night.
Police executed a search warrant at the suspect’s home, according to KVVU.
Undersheriff McCabe said the Oakland County Prosecutor’s office will make the decision as to whether or not the shooter will be charged as an adult.
Police said the 9mm Sig Sauer handgun used in the attack had been purchased by the suspect’s father just four days before the mass shooting, People reported.
The teen’s father also purchased three 15-round magazines at the same time, only two of which have been recovered.
During a press conference Tuesday night, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said she is appreciative of how quickly first responders handled the horrific situation, WDIV reported.
“My heart goes out to the families. This is an unimaginable tragedy. I hope that we can all rise to the occasion and wrap our arms around the families, the affected children and school personnel and this community,” Whitmer said. “This is an important moment for us to support one another, to support this community and I want to thank our first responders again.”
The governor ordered flags be lowered to half-staff until further notice in honor of the victims.