At least three students were killed and eight others were seriously wounded after a student opened fire at his Michigan school on Tuesday. At least one teacher was wounded in the gunfire. The suspect, a 15-year-old sophomore has since been arrested.
The incident happened at Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan, about 40 miles north of Detroit, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office said. Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe said at a news conference that investigators were still trying to determine a motive for the shooting. In total, 11 people were hit by gunfire, authorities on said Tuesday evening.
Police said they received a torrent of calls about an active shooting starting around 12:51 pm local time. According to authorities, the suspect opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun that wounded several. He was, however, arrested within minutes.
The three deceased students â a 16-year-old boy, 14-year-old girl and 17-year-old girl â have not been identified. Of the eight others who were shot, two were in surgery, while six others were in stable condition, police said. According to initial reports, the suspect fired around 15-20 rounds and was then arrested without resistance.
"The whole thing lasted five minutes," McCabe said.
The suspect divulged nothing to police and demanded his right to a lawyer on being advised not to speak by his parents, McCabe said.
"My heart goes out to the families enduring the unimaginable grief of losing a loved one," President Joe Biden told reporters while touring a Minnesota technical college.
Students described a chaotic scene unfolding in which a voice over the intercom said there was an active shooter. Initially, many thought that it was a drill but soon realized it wasn't. Students said they were struck by fear and panic.
Teachers locked and barricaded doors and covered windows. Students hid. Some with cellphones quietly texted to alert their parents and friends, while the gunshots went on.
Almost Facing Death
Student Abbey Hodder told the Detroit Free Press she was in chemistry class when she heard the sound of glass breaking.
"My teacher kind of ran out and was scrambling," Hodder, 15, told the outlet. "The next thing I knew I saw he was pushing tables. It's part of school protocol to barricade, so we all knew, barricade, barricade down. And we all started pushing tables."
McCabe said that he was aware of allegations circulating on social media that there had been threats of a shooting at the roughly 1,700-student school before Tuesday's attack, but he cautioned against believing that narrative until investigators can look into it.
He also tried to downplay the significance of an incident in early November when a deer head was thrown off the school roof, which he said was unrelated to the shooting.
Following the vandalism, school administrators were compelled to post two letters to parents on the school's website saying that they were responding to rumors of a threat against the school but had found none.
Authorities haven't given the name of the suspect but social media user claim his name to be Ethan Crumbley. If there is truth in it, the 15-year-old had also been posting strange videos on YouTube and also posted a countdown to the shooting on his Instagram account. The post has since been deleted.
The Oxford High School shooting is the 28th â and deadliest â school shooting this year, according to Education Week, which tracks shootings at schools in which there are firearm-related injuries or deaths.