The 15-year-old Oxford High School sophomore accused of fatally shooting three classmates and injuring at least eight other people used a handgun his dad purchased four days earlier on Black Friday, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said late Tuesday evening.
The weapon used was a 9mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 pistol, Bouchard said. The suspect had at least two, 15-round magazines, including one with seven remaining rounds when authorities apprehended the suspect.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard, right, speaks next to County Executive David Coulter during a news media briefing on the Oxford High School shooting at Oakland County Sheriff’s Office in Pontiac on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021.
“When they took it from him, he had a loaded firearm. He was coming down the hall. That again, I believe, interrupted what potentially could have been seven more victims,” Bouchard said.
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The sheriff said the suspect fired at least 12 rounds, a preliminary estimate based on shell casings found at the school. Earlier in the day, Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe suggested the suspect fired anywhere from 15 to 20 rounds. That could indicate the shooter reloaded the handgun at least once during the shooting.
Bouchard said the suspect’s father allegedly bought a third magazine that law enforcement have not yet found, but he suspects it will be found at the school.
Bouchard did not name the suspect, noting he is a minor and has not yet been charged with a crime. He said the suspect, who is being held at a county juvenile detention facility, and his parents have retained an attorney and declined to speak with law enforcement.
Bouchard did not say where exactly the handgun was purchased and whether it was a new weapon or previously owned by someone else. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting with the investigation, but a spokeswoman late Tuesday referred comment to the sheriff’s office.
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.
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Bouchard said he could not speak to the suspect’s familiarity or ability with the handgun.
“Obviously, you don’t have to be terribly accurate if you’re right next to someone,” Bouchard said.
A parent hugs a child as others come to pick up students from the Meijer store in Oxford following an active shooter situation at Oxford High School in Oxford on November 30, 2021. Police took a suspected shooter into custody and there were multiple victims, between four and six, the Oakland County Sheriff’s office said.
Law enforcement searched the suspect’s home Tuesday, located in Oxford, and seized the suspect’s cellphone. While Bouchard said he was not sure what else law enforcement found at the home, he appeared open to the idea that the suspect’s parents could face charges related to the use of the father’s gun.
“That will all be up to the prosecutor,” Bouchard said, when asked whether the parents of the suspect could face charges.
The crime scene is sprawling and the investigation will take time to complete, Bouchard said. He confirmed the school does not have metal detectors.
Contact Dave Boucher: email@example.com or 313-938-4591. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Boucher1.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Sheriff: Oxford shooting suspect used gun dad bought on Black Friday