7-year-old girl dies after being shot outside Taylor Sportsplex

Police believe shooter killed himself; girl's mother hospitalized

TAYLOR, Mich. - A 7-year-old girl has died after she and her mother were shot Thursday evening outside the Taylor Sportsplex.

The 37-year-old mother and girl were taken to the hospital where they were both listed in critical condition. Emma Watson Nowling died from her injuries late Thursday night. Her mother, Sharon Watson, remains hospitalized. Taylor Police Chief Mary Sclabassi said the woman is expected to recover.

"She remains in serious but stable condition," said Sclabassi.

The shooting happened in the parking lot about 8 p.m. at the Taylor Sportsplex on Telegraph Road just after the girl finished soccer practice.

Police believe the 57-year-old shooter, identified as Timothy Nelson Obershaw, shot himself after attacking his victims. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A 9-mm handgun was found near him.

Sclabassi said after practice Obershaw parked his vehicle and walked over to Sharon's vehicle where he approached them with a gun drawn.

"He fired gunshots into Watson's vehicle. He struck the child first and then opened fire on the mother," the chief said. "And then turned and shot and killed himself."

Obershaw was a Taylor resident. Police are still investigating the motive for the shooting.

Shooter was 'friend of family'

Obershaw was considered a friend of the family, said Sclabassi. He had lived with Emma and Sharon at one point at their home in Belleville.

"He had been staying with Watson and other members of the family in Belleville for the last year or so," she said. "He recently moved into a home in Taylor."

He was seen with the mother and daughter before Emma's soccer practice Thursday evening. The shooting happened when Sharon and Emma were leaving practice.

"People came screaming back into ... and police came in. We just tried to keep people calm and ready to run in any direction that they could, just in case something else happened. We didn't know," said Mario Scicluna, who is the coach of the 7-year-old girl's soccer team.

Chief Sclabassi said witnesses saw Obershaw before practice hugging Emma. There did not appear to be a problem.

"He apparently attended practices and games with the mother and daughter in the past," said the chief.

Chief: Evidence shows shooter believed someone was using mind control on him

Sclabassi said her department still does not have a motive for this shooting, but Obershaw was showing signs of mental illness before the shooting.

"However, our investigation revealed after talking to witnesses and family members that apparently Mr. Obershaw had been experiencing mental instability over the past year or so. We found evidence that Obershaw believed that someone was trying to control him through mind control ... he thought someone was out to get him."