Boy, eight, and mother in critical condition after waterpark shooting

World

An eight-year-old boy is in a critical condition after he was shot in the head at a waterpark in Michigan – with eight other people injured.

His mother is also in a critical condition, while his four-year-old brother is in a stable condition with a leg wound, after a gunman opened fire in a Detroit suburb on Saturday.

Another other six victims, who are all aged 30 or over, including a husband and wife and a 78-year-old man, are said to be in a stable condition.

Police tracked the suspected gunman, described as a 42-year-old white man, to a home, where they sent a drone inside to find he had died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.

The shooting happened at just after 5pm at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad in Rochester Hills, an area of a city park where people can play in fountains of water.

Police respond to the scene of a shooting at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad, Saturday, June 15, 2024, in Rochester Hills, Mich. The Oakland County Sheriff...s Office says there are ...numerous wounded victims... after police were called for an active shooter. (WXYZ via AP)
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Police respond to a shooting at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad. Pic: WXYZ/AP

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said the attack appeared to be random, with the gunman driving up to the park, walking to the water recreation area and firing up to 28 times, stopping multiple times to reload.

“People were falling, getting hit, trying to run,” he said. “Terrible things that unfortunately all of us in our law enforcement business have seen way too much.”

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The sheriff said the gunman, who at least one witness said was using two handguns, was “apparently in no rush” and “just calmly walked back to his car”.

An officer arrived at the scene within two minutes of the 911 call, he said, with the first deputies providing first aid including tourniquets.

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

Police were able to quickly come up with a likely address, and a car matching the suspect’s was discovered at the residence.

Sheriff Bouchard said the quick actions of police may have prevented a “second chapter” to the shooting as he showed a photo of a semiautomatic rifle on a table inside the home.

Officials with the Oakland County Sheriff's Department, 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, Mich. (Katy Kildee/Detroit News via AP)
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Officials secure the scene. Pic Katy Kildee/Detroit News/AP

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Another handgun, believed to have been used by the suspect to take his own life, was also found inside.

The suspect, who is believed to have lived with his mother, did not live in Rochester Hills and it is not yet known why he went to the park or what his motive may have been.

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said he “started to cry” when he arrived at the scene because it is supposed to be a place where people gather and have fun.

The shooting was a reminder “that we live in a fragile place,” he said, while Sheriff Bouchard called it “a gut punch” for the county.

“Our most fervent hope, at least at his point, is that all of the injured victims have speedy recoveries,” he said.

“None of us… anticipated going into Father’s Day weekend with this kind of tragedy that families will be deeply affected by forever.”

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