Gun used in Oxford school shooting bought by suspect’s father days ago, sheriff says

Detroit News staff reports

OxfordThe 15-year-old suspect in the mass shooting at an Oakland County high school Tuesday used a pistol his father purchased on Black Friday in the attack, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said late Tuesday.

Authorities say the Oxford High School sophomore opened fire on his fellow students and teachers shortly before 1 p.m., killing three students and wounding eight other people, among them, seven students and a teacher. Two 14-year-old students, a boy and a girl, were in critical condition Tuesday night at local hospitals.

Two deputies approached the suspect within 5 minutes of the first of more than 100 911 calls, and he surrendered without incident, Bouchard said.

He noted that the suspect was found in possession of a Sig Sauer Model SP 2022 9 mm semi-automatic pistol with seven rounds left in a 15-round magazine.

"When they took (the weapon) from him, he had a loaded firearm and he was coming down the hall," the sheriff told reporters. "That ... I believe, interrupted what potentially could have been seven more victims."

Authorities swarmed the neighborhood Tuesday evening of the suspect's home in Oxford, hours after the shooting.

The sheriff said the boy's father purchased the weapon four days ago on Nov. 26, and police found another 15-round clip in the school and are searching for a third. 

Bouchard said the suspect fired “at least 12 rounds” based on shell casings found in the school building.

It’s was not immediately clear Tuesday evening how the boy obtained possession of the weapon or how he was able to get it into the school building.

"We know, but I'm not going to say that right now," Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe told reporters Tuesday. He added that the suspect was arrested by a deputy detailed to the school and another who arrived on the scene.

Bouchard said authorities were aware of social media posts that appeared to show the suspect with the same weapon used in the attack.

Bouchard praised the hundreds of first responders who assisted, particularly Oakland County deputies and officers from other agencies who rushed to the school.

"After other school shootings across the country, in some scenarios where deputies didn’t go in, I made it very clear to our staff, if they get there first, they’re going in. (Deputies) went in and searched out the threats. They went to the gunshots."

The suspect, who has asked for an attorney and declined to speak to police, is being housed at Children's Village in Pontiac where juveniles suspects are held. His parents declined to give investigators permission to speak to him.

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter said the teen has been placed on a suicide watch and is being checked on every 15 minutes.  

The family has hired an attorney, Bouchard said, and authorities executed a search warrant at the teen’s home. Authorities are still investigating the motive. 

Among the items they are reviewing are the suspect's cell phone and school surveillance footage, the sheriff said, adding the school had an extensive system of cameras.

Bouchard said his office had had no contact with the youth before the incident and "have had nothing to suggest there's been disciplinary … problems with him at the school. So that's part of our investigation to determine what happened prior to this event, and if some signs were missed, how were they missed."