Suspect In Michigan School Shooting Lawyers Up, Won't Talk To Police

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There are still a lot of questions surrounding the shootings at Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan on Tuesday that left three students dead and at least six other students and staff injured. We’re still in the early stages of the investigation, and while there are literally hundreds of potential eyewitnesses to speak with, authorities say the suspect himself isn’t saying anything at all.

On Tuesday evening, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard gave an update on what law enforcement has been able to learn.

“The only information I had is he came out of a bathroom with the weapon and I don’t know where he went first,” Bouchard told reporters Tuesday, referring to the suspect.
Law enforcement officers quickly entered the building and had him in custody within three minutes of their arrival, the sheriff said.
Once the suspect encountered the officers, he put his hands up and they took a gun from him before placing him in custody.
The gun, a 9MM Sig Sauer SP2022 pistol, was loaded with seven rounds.
“He had a loaded firearm and he was coming down the hall. That, I believe, interrupted what potentially could have been seven more victims,” Bouchard said at a news conference Tuesday night.
A deputy with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office is assigned to the school and that deputy helped take the suspect into custody, Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe said.
Bouchard says the suspect, a 15-year old sophomore at the school, was taken into custody without any shots being fired by police approximately three minutes after the first 911 call was made.
Authorities identified the murdered students as 16-year old Tate Myre, 14-year old Hanna St. Julian, and 17-year old Madisyn Baldwin. At least three other students are reported to be in critical condition at local hospitals, while one teacher who was shot was released from the hospital on Tuesday night.
As for a potential motive, police say they haven’t found one yet, and the suspect isn’t talking.
“We don’t have a motive at this point in time,” McCabe said Tuesday. “We are still investigating that.”
The suspect’s parents hired an attorney and have not permitted him to talk with police, officials said.
The semiautomatic handgun recovered by law enforcement was bought by the suspect’s father on Friday, Bouchard said.
Now, you have the right to remain silent, so there’s nothing illegal about clamming up and not speaking to police. But I’m sure authorities are going to be investigating the circumstances and motive not only behind the shooting itself, but also the father’s purchase of the pistol just days beforehand.
The sheriff says he’s not aware of any prior concerns, but local media are reporting that Oxford H.S. administrators sent a letter to parents just a few weeks ago addressing “rumors” that had parents and students concerned, and the Detroit Free Press also reports that there were other rumors of violence on Tuesday, with some parents deciding to keep their kids home.

Someone posted photos of the gun allegedly used at Oxford High School and targets on social media in the days leading up the Tuesday’s shooting. Bouchard confirmed the suspect appeared to make an online post with an image of the gun used, but the sheriff repeatedly stressed his office was not aware of any credible threats of violence ahead of the shooting.

“It’s my understanding, again, that this was a recent weapon purchase, that he had been shooting with it. And they posted pictures of (a) target and the weapon,” Bouchard said.

Multiple parents told the Free Press that their children enrolled at the school heard rumors of some violence ahead of school Tuesday; some took it seriously enough to prevent their children from attending classes in person.

It remains to be seen if those earlier incidents involved the suspect in any way, but it’s definitely another avenue for investigators to pursue as they search for a motive as well as any warning signs that might have been missed.

While the investigation continues, gun control activists and anti-gun politicians wasted no time trying to exploit the tragedy, including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

From the moment that the authorities confirmed reports of a fatal shooting inside a Michigan high school on Tuesday, officials across the country expressed shock and Democratic leaders renewed their calls for more to be done to reduce gun violence.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan said in a statement that she was “devastated for the students, teachers, staff, and families” of the school where the shooting occurred, Oxford High in Oakland County.

Calling gun violence a “public health crisis,” she added that “no one should be afraid to go to school, work, a house of worship, or even their own home. This is a time for us to come together and help children feel safe at school.”

Whitmer and other Democrats offered no specific solutions, but I suspect that anti-gun lawmakers in Lansing (and Washington, D.C.) are already looking at new restrictions on gun owners including storage mandates and a ban on “high capacity” magazines. There may still be a lot of questions surrounding the shooting on Tuesday, but gun control advocates are convinced they’ve already got the answers.