Michigan paddling pool shooting: Suspect commits suicide after injuring nine people, eight-year-old in critical condition

A gunman opened fire at a suburban Detroit wading pool on Saturday, wounding nine people, including two children and their mother. Authorities said the suspect, who was pursued by police to a home, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Evidence markers indicate the location of spent bullet casings following a mass shooting at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad in Rochester Hills, Michigan, U.S., June 15, 2024. (via REUTERS)

The Associated Press reported that authorities initially believed at least 10 people suffered gunshot wounds in the Rochester Hills shooting, but the number was later revised after consulting with area hospitals.

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Among the victims was an 8-year-old boy who was shot in the head and was in critical condition, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said. The boy's mother was also wounded in the stomach and leg, while his 4-year-old brother was in stable condition but suffered a leg wound.

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Where did the Michigan shooting occur?

The incident reportedly occurred shortly after 5 p.m. at a wading pool in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills, where families gathered to escape the heat, as the city park where the shooting occurred had a recreation area with a non-slip surface where water fountains and splashers could be turned on for entertainment.

According to the Oakland County Sheriff, the attack appeared to be random, as the gunman drove to the park and fired approximately 28 times after reaching the slash pad area. Additionally, a witness told authorities that the gunman appeared to have used two handguns, but the sheriff later noted that this has not yet been confirmed.

Bouchard said that amid the chaos, “people were falling, getting hit, trying to escape,” basically all “horrific things that we've all unfortunately seen far too many times in our police work.”

After the seemingly “random” attack, the gunman reportedly “just calmly walked back to his car.” He “apparently was in no hurry.”

Emergency crews immediately responded to the 911 call that came into police when the report of the shooting came in. Bouchard said an officer was on the scene within two minutes.

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Was the shooter arrested?

Officers appeared to have followed the man and surrounded his home. They initially tried to reach the suspect inside the house but received no response. Eventually, they sent a drone into the house. Authorities soon found him dead inside the house.

They discovered another weapon, which the sheriff later showed in a photo showing a semi-automatic rifle.

During the course of the investigation, authorities determined that the suspect did not live in the area. They have yet to determine what motivated him to go to the wading pool. The suspect's name has also not been released, but the sheriff described him as a 42-year-old white male who reportedly lived with his mother.

In addition to a semi-automatic rifle, investigators found another pistol with which the man had presumably killed himself. Authorities had previously seized a pistol, three empty magazines and 28 cartridge cases at the crime scene.

The mayor of Rochester Hills, Brayn Barnett, also commented on the case and pointed out the “questionableness” of our times: “When I arrived at the scene of the accident, I had to cry because I know what a wading pool is.”

Even Bouchard called it a “kick in the gut” for the nation, especially since they did not expect to “enter into life on Father's Day weekend with a tragedy of this nature that will deeply affect families forever.”