The suspect in the Michigan high school shooting posted photos of guns before he opened fire on classmates Tuesday (Pictures: AP/Getty Images)
A student suspect in the shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan reportedly posted pictures of the semiautomatic handgun he used to open fire on classmates and teachers to social media before the massacre that left four students dead.
‘It’s my understanding, again, that this was a recent weapon purchase,’ Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said on Tuesday night.
The suspect had shared photos of the weapon, which his father bought four days before, to social media.
‘He had been shooting with it and posted pictures of a target and the weapon. That’s all part of what’s being looked at,’ Bouchard said. ‘We’re going to do a deep dive on the social media and all the activities of this young man.’
The 15-year-old suspect is now refusing to speak with police at the juvenile detention center where he is being held. He is on suicide watch and being checked every 15 minutes.
Police said they were unaware of any threats, but some parents and students said they heard rumors before Tuesday night that something bad might happen.
Some parents even kept children home over fears something would occur.
‘He was not in school today,’ said Robin Redding, whose son Treshan Bryant is in 12th grade. ‘He just said that “Ma, I don’t feel comfortable. None of the kids that we go to school with are going today”‘.
Bryant told the Associated Press he spoke with several younger cousins that morning who said they didn’t want to go to school, and he got a bad feeling. He then asked to do his assignments online.
According to Bryant, he had heard vague threats of a school shooting ‘for a long time now’.
‘You’re not supposed to play about that. This is real life,’ he said.
Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe said at a news conference that investigators were still determining a motive for the shooting at Oxford High School, a township of about 22,000 people located about 40 miles north of Detroit.
Three students were killed Tuesday: Tate Myre, 16; Hana St Juliana, 14; and Madisyn Baldwin, 17. Justin Shilling, a 17-year-old, was pronounced dead Wednesday at an area hospital.
Myre died in the back of a cop car as deputies rushed him to the hospital.
Seven others were injured in the shooting, including a 47-year-old teacher, and children ages 14 to 17, some in critical condition. One 14-year-old girl was on a ventilator Tuesday night, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The whole incident unfolded in about five minutes, and police were able to stop the shooter coming down a hall with seven rounds of live ammunition.
Two letters to parents were shared on the school’s website this month, saying they were responding to rumors of a threat against the school following a vandalism incident.
A second post on November 12 assured ‘there has been no threat to our building nor our students.’
Undersheriff Mike McCabe said the two incidents were unrelated, and involved separate students, but encouraged people to contact law enforcement with such tips in the future.
At the news conference, McCabe said it appears the suspect worked alone. Investigators are interviewing students and scouring social media for a motive.
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