Shooting at paddling pool in suburban Detroit injures 8 people, including 2 children, authorities say

Officials from the Oakland County Sheriff's Department, the Rochester Hills Fire Department and other jurisdictions secure the scene of a shooting at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad, Saturday, June 15, 2024, in Rochester Hills, Michigan ( Katy Kildee/Detroit News via AP)

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Eight people were injured after a gunman opened fire at a splash pad in a Detroit suburb where families gathered to escape the summer heat Saturday, authorities said. Law enforcement followed a suspect to a home, where the person committed suicide.

At least two of the victims were children, authorities said. Authorities initially said they believed at least 10 people were shot and injured in the shooting in Rochester Hills, but that number was later lowered after checking with area hospitals.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said a suspect was confined to a nearby home and law enforcement had him surrounded. Rochester police announced Saturday evening that the person had committed suicide.

The shooting happened shortly after 5 p.m. in a city park that includes a recreation area with a non-slip surface where people can turn on jets and water fountains to play. Bouchard said the shooting appeared to be random, with the shooter arriving in a car. at the park, walking to the splash pad and shooting up to 28 times, stopping several times to reload.

A handgun and three empty magazines were recovered, the sheriff said.

Police cordoned off the scene of the shooting with tape, and dozens of yellow markers lay on the ground among colorful folding chairs.

In a social media post, authorities said there was still an active crime scene and asked people to avoid the area. Bouchard said people sheltering in the park could return home safely.

It was not immediately clear if other people or weapons were inside the home with the potential suspect, Bouchard said, and law enforcement was trying to make contact with him.

The victims were taken to hospital and their conditions were not immediately known.

Police heard the 911 call reporting the shooting as it came in, Bouchard said, because the agency uses a service that simultaneously sends emergency calls to first responders. A police officer arrived on the scene within two minutes, he said.

Rochester Hills is about 15 miles south of Oxford, where in 2021 a 15-year-old fatally shot four high school students.

Saturday's shooting occurred at the end of the first full week of summer vacation for Rochester Community Schools students.

Bouchard called it a “gut punch” for the county.

“We’ve had so much tragedy,” the sheriff said. “You know, we don't even fully understand what happened at Oxford. And, you know, we're now faced with another total tragedy that we're dealing with.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said on social platform X that she was heartbroken to learn of the shooting and was in contact with local authorities.

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