Children among nine wounded in shooting at Michigan splash pad

Eight-year-old is in critical condition after the attack at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad park in a Detroit suburb.

US Rep John James
Technicians document the scene where a shooting took place at Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad in Rochester Hills, Michigan [Jeff Kowalsky/AFP]

At least nine people, including two young children and their mother, have been wounded after being shot at a city-run water park in Michigan in the United States, officials said.

An attacker opened fire at a splash pad in a Detroit suburb on Saturday where families gathered to escape the summer heat.

Police, who determined the incident as random gunfire, tracked a suspect to a home, where the man died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.

An eight-year-old boy is believed to be in critical condition after he was shot in the head.

The boy’s mother is also in critical condition after being wounded in the abdomen and leg, and his four-year-old brother is in stable condition with a leg wound.

The other six victims, all 30 years or older, were in stable condition. They included a woman and her husband and a 78-year-old man.

A man got out of a vehicle in front of Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad park, in Rochester Hills, Michigan, at about 5pm (21:00 GMT) and fired about 30 shots from a 9mm semiautomatic pistol, reloading several times, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told a news conference.

One witness reported that the attacker appeared to use two handguns during the attack, but that has not yet been confirmed.

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

The attacker was “apparently in no rush. Just calmly walked back to his car,” the sheriff added.


The suspect did not live in Rochester Hills and investigators do not yet know why he went to the splash pad.

Bouchard said that the attack appeared to be random.

Officials did not release the suspect’s name, but the police described him as a 42-year-old white man and said officials believe he lived with his mother.

The man had no prior police contacts and no criminal history, Bouchard said. “It’s our understanding that he was undergoing some mental health challenges but no one that we know of was notified,” the sheriff said. He did not elaborate further on the suspect’s mental health history.

At the splash pad, authorities found a handgun, three empty magazines and 28 spent shell casings. At the home, they recovered a semiautomatic rifle and another handgun believed to have been used by the suspect to take his life.

Rochester Hills is about 30 miles (50km) north of Detroit.

The neighbouring community Oxford Township, also in Oakland County, was the scene of a 2021 mass school shooting where student Ethan Crumbley, then 15, killed four students and wounded six other students and a teacher at Oxford High School.

The Oxford Resiliency Center, established to help those impacted by the 2021 shooting at Oxford High School, remains in operation and can assist community members, police said.

“Our most fervent hope, at least at his point, is that all of the injured victims have speedy recoveries,” Bouchard said. “None of us … anticipated going into Father’s Day weekend with this kind of tragedy that families will be deeply affected by forever.”

Source: News Agencies