Sheriff: Oxford High School shooter used 9 mm pistol recently purchased by father

Teen accused of shooting, killing 3 students, injuring 8 other people

Aiden Watson, who was injured at Oxford High School, attends a vigil with his mother at LakePoint Community Church in Oxford, Mich., Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. Authorities say a 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at Oxford High School, killing several students and wounding multiple other people, including a teacher. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

OXFORD, Mich. – A 15-year-old Oxford High School student who on Tuesday shot and killed three students and wounded several others was armed with a handgun recently purchased by his father, according to authorities.

Update: 17-year-old boy becomes 4th student to die from Oxford High School shooting

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said during a news conference Tuesday night that when deputies apprehended the school shooter, they found him armed with a loaded 9 mm Sig Sauer SP2022 semi-automatic pistol. Officials say seven rounds were discovered inside the handgun when deputies converged on the shooter.

The gun was reportedly purchased by the shooter’s father on Black Friday, Nov. 26. Sheriff Bouchard said three 15-round magazines were reportedly purchased with the gun, and the shooter was believed to have equipped himself with all three.

The 15-year-old sophomore student accused of opening fire during school hours at Oxford High School has not yet been publicly identified, as he is a minor and is awaiting formal charges. Police were reportedly able to find and arrest the boy without incident within five minutes of the onset of the crisis -- but not before three teenage students were fatally shot, and eight others were injured.

More: What we know about the victims of the Oxford High School shooting

These three teens were killed in a shooting Nov. 30, 2021 by a classmate at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich.

According to Bouchard, investigators initially found two of the 15-round magazines at the scene of the shooting. At least 12 rounds were believed to have been fired by the boy, and that preliminary number is based on casings initially found at the scene.

The sheriff says that more specific details will be shared following a thorough investigation, which is expected to take “many, many hours.” Sheriff Bouchard also said he expects the third magazine will be found at the school amid further investigation.

During their initial search of the high school, Bouchard said a K-9 unit identified a backpack believed to belong to the shooter. Officials found no dangerous materials inside the bag, but believe that’s where the gun was carried.

The sophomore shooter is currently in police custody, and is being lodged at the county’s Children’s Village, a juvenile detention facility, in Pontiac. He was reportedly under suicide watch Tuesday night.

Sheriff Bouchard said the boy immediately invoked his right to refuse to speak on the incident. The teen and his parents are all reportedly being represented by lawyers and are not cooperating with the investigation.

Law enforcement carried out a search warrant at the boy’s home in Oxford Village, in which they seized a cell phone. Police did not immediately announce all that was seized during the search.

Officials did say, however, that the investigation will include combing through the teen’s interactions on social media, where he is said to have posted pictures with a target and the weapon used in the school shooting on Tuesday.

Authorities say they are examining all items seized from the search warrant, and are reviewing camera footage from Oxford High School to aid in their investigation. A motive behind and the exact details of what occurred during the school shooting were not immediately clear.

Once the investigation is completed, the sheriff’s office will look to the prosecutor’s office for charges against the teen, Bouchard said. An exact timeline was not provided.

More: 15-year-old in custody after 3 killed, 8 injured in Oxford High School shooting -- Everything we know so far

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.