OXFORD, Mich. – Police said three students were killed, eight others were hurt and a sophomore was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon during a shooting incident at Oxford High School.
Deputies take suspected shooter into custody
Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe provided an update on the situation around 5 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 30).
McCabe said starting at 12:51 p.m. Tuesday, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office received more than 100 calls to their dispatch about an active shooter at Oxford High School.
Deputies responded to the school, and within five minutes of the first 911 call, the suspected shooter was taken into custody, according to authorities.
The deputy assigned to the school and another deputy were responsible for making the arrest, McCabe said.
Police identified the suspected shooter as a 15-year-old sophomore at the high school.
“He did not give us any resistance when he was taken into custody,” McCabe said. “He is currently being transported back to Pontiac for potential -- he’s already invoked his right to not speak, so he wants an attorney. He’s not telling us anything at this point in time.”
Police said the boy’s parents came to see him at the Oakland County Children’s Village, told him not to speak to officers and then left.
“They came to the substation, they met with their son, they told us that they would not let him talk,” McCabe said. “In a juvenile (case), we have to get permission from the parents or the guardian of that juvenile in order to speak to them, and we did not get that.”
McCabe said the 15-year-old did not fire shots at officers. They recovered a semi-automatic handgun from him.
The 15-year-old was not injured, police said.
Police say 3 killed, 8 more injured
“It’s unfortunate that I have to report that we have three deceased victims right now, who are all believed to be students,” McCabe said.
A 16-year-old boy, a 14-year-old girl and a 17-year-old girl were killed, he said.
In addition, eight others -- one teacher and seven students -- were shot during the incident, according to officials. They were taken to McLaren Lapeer, McLaren Oakland and St. Joe’s in Pontiac for treatment.
Six of the eight victims are currently stable, with various gunshot wounds, McCabe said.
The other two victims are currently in surgery, and their conditions are unknown, he said.
Police said the shooter fired around 15-20 shots. Multiple shell casings were found in the school.
Authorities believe the 15-year-old acted alone and there are no other shooters or gunmen involved. They will check social media and speak with other students to confirm that, according to McCabe.
A Meijer store just north of the school closed down to help police reunite students with their parents.
Officials did three sweeps of the high school to make sure there aren’t any other victims. There are at least 100 different detectives and support staff members at the scene, McCabe said.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined McCabe during his 5 p.m. update.
“I appreciate the quick response of all of our first responders,” Whitmer said. “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. It is an unimaginable tragedy and I just wanted to be here because I think this is an important moment for us to support one another, to support this community, and I want to thank our first responders again.”
Police are investigating whether there were any warning signs before the attack.
John Lyman, a public information officer for the Rochester Hills Fire Department, said about 25 agencies responded alongside the police department. Nearly 60 ambulances were sent to the school, as well as some helicopters, because they weren’t sure how many people would need to be transported, Lyman said.
He confirmed firefighters transported the injured patients to nearby hospitals.
Timothy Waters, the special agent in charge for the FBI in Michigan, said FBI officials were deployed as soon as they heard about the incident. They are supporting police in any way they can, he said.
McCabe said police will provide another update around 10 p.m. Tuesday.
All schools in the Oxford Community Schools district, including OELC, will be closed for the remainder of the week, officials announced.
Responses to tragedy
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer:
“My heart breaks for the students, teachers, staff, and families of Oxford High School. The death of multiple students and the shooting of many others, including a teacher, is horrific. I want to thank the first responders on the ground working hard to keep people safe as law enforcement officials investigate this shooting and get the community the help it needs right now.
“As Michiganders, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect each other from gun violence. No one should be afraid to go to school, work, a house of worship, or even their own home. Gun violence is a public health crisis that claims lives every day. We have the tools to reduce gun violence in Michigan. This is a time for us to come together and help our children feel safe at school.
“My heart is with the parents who had their children taken from them today and with the entire community in Oxford.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel:
“My heart goes out to the parents who have lost their children and to the students, teachers, staff, and families reeling from the tragedy of a school shooting within their community. My department has reached out to local law enforcement to offer assistance as this investigation unfolds and I want to extend my sincere gratitude to first responders on the scene.
“We must act to properly address gun violence in our schools and the ongoing threat of another unconscionable tragedy if we continue to only offer thoughts and prayers. Our kids deserve better.”
Michigan Rep. John Reilly, of Oakland Township:
“My heart goes out to students, staff and their families after the despicable shooting at Oxford High School. I am praying for a quick recovery for those who have been wounded, and comfort for families and friends grieving lost loved ones. A tragedy like this shocks us all, and we need to support the people who endured this horrific trauma. Our community is unified in the face of this heinous act of violence, and we are especially grateful to our law enforcement officers and first responders for their efforts.”
Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter:
“I’m horrified by this tragic shooting at Oxford High School today. The entire Oakland County community is in shock by this terrifying display of violence and our thoughts are with Oxford families tonight. I’m grateful for the quick response from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department and all the first responders. The county’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated to offer any support and assistance needed by first responders and the families in Oxford today and in the days ahead.”