9 wounded after shooting at suburban Detroit splash pad; gunman identified

Updated
CBS Detroit

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - Authorities on Sunday identified the man who opened fire at a splash pad in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills on Saturday night before taking his own life. His motives, however, remain unknown as investigators worked to determine if he left behind any hint of his plans.

Oakland County Sheriff's spokesperson Stephen Huber said the shooter was 42-year-old Michael William Nash of Shelby Township. He died by suicide following a standoff at a home in a nearby community.

Sheriff Michael Bouchard said Saturday evening that the gunman had no prior criminal history but apparently suffered privately from what the sheriff called "mental health challenges."

At least nine people, including two children, were wounded in the shooting.

Bouchard said in a news briefing the male suspect pulled up in a vehicle a little after 5 p.m. local time, got out and opened fire on the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad, located at 1585 E. Auburn Road.

"It appears like the individual pulled up, exited a vehicle, approached the splash pad, opened fire, reloaded, opened fire, reloaded, left," Bouchard said. "It appears very random at this point...No connectivity to the victims."

The nine victims ranged in age from 4 to 78, Bouchard said. An 8-year-old boy and a 39-year-old woman, both from the same family, were in critical condition. The boy suffered a gunshot wound to the head, the sheriff said.

The rest of the victims were in stable condition with various gunshot wounds. At least four area hospitals were treating the victims.

After fleeing the shooting, the suspect was discovered to have gone to a house within a half-mile of the splash pad, Bouchard said. Authorities surrounded the barricaded home in Shelby Township and a standoff ensued.

"We determined who we thought was potentially involved from some of the evidence on scene very quickly, went immediately there," Bouchard said in the earlier briefing. "A vehicle that matched what had been described as a vehicle leaving the scene was there. So we put up a quick perimeter. And deputies on scene apparently heard or saw the individual that they're trying to communicate with."

During the shooting, the gunman fired potentially 28 times and reloaded multiple times, Bouchard said. A 9mm Glock semi-automatic handgun was recovered from the scene, along with three empty magazines.

Bouchard explained that deputies were able to trace the weapon's registration to the address in Shelby Township where the suspect was believed to reside with his mother.

Within an hour of the shooting, authorities had "containment" on the home, "setting a hard perimeter" using SWAT, helicopters and drones, Bouchard said. The suspect's mother was not home at the time of the standoff, Bouchard disclosed. 

After not receiving contact from the suspect, law enforcement breached the home, and using drones, found the suspect dead inside, Bouchard said. The sheriff also showed reporters a photo of a semiautomatic weapon which was found on a kitchen table. A second handgun was also found inside the home. Bouchard said the suspect died from what was believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"I believe that because we had quick containment on him, that if he had planned to do anything else, and it wouldn't surprise me, because having that on the kitchen table is not an everyday activity," Bouchard said. "That there was probably something else, a second chapter, potentially."

Bouchard said investigators still have no motive in the shooting. The suspect "did not have a criminal history that we're aware of," and detectives have so far found no link between the suspect and the location of the shooting.

Jared Schmidt, a Rochester Hills resident, told CBS News he was in the neighborhood near the splash pad when he heard "a lot of cars squealing, tires, people racing through the neighborhood, and a woman screaming that there was an active shooter."

Schmidt said he jumped in his car and drove to the splash pad, where he says he found "a lot of blood," and began providing first aid to the victims, with tourniquets and pressure dressings. He said among the injured was a friend of his.

"I know these people," Schmidt said. "This is my neighborhood...These are family members...This is horrible."

In his earlier remarks, Bouchard also referenced the 2021 mass shooting at Oxford High School in the nearby city of Oxford, in which a teen gunman killed four fellow students.

"It's a gut punch, obviously, for us here in Oakland County. We've gone through so many tragedies," Bouchard said. "We're not even fully comprehending what happened at Oxford, and now we have another complete tragedy that we're dealing with."

In a statement posted to social media, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said that she was "heartbroken to learn about the shooting in Rochester Hills. We are monitoring the situation as updates continue to come in, and are in touch with local officials."

The city of Rochester Hills is located about 25 miles north of Detroit.

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter issued a statement on Sunday, saying the shooting is "another appalling display of senseless violence."

"The Oakland County community stands with the injured and their families, and unfortunately, just as we had to do in Oxford, we will be with the victims, their families, and the community for as long as it takes," Coulter said. "I'm grateful for the quick response from the Oakland County Sheriff's Department and first responders and for the coordination between our Emergency Operations Center and other responding agencies."

On Sunday, Bouchard warned that fake GoFundMe pages had been created, purporting to benefit the victims. The sheriff said one GoFundMe page created claimed to benefit an individual who was not a victim. More than $15,000 had been donated.

"These bottom-feeding scumbags are preying off this tragedy," Bouchard said in a statement. "They have already shown their character. We are unaware of any legitimate charity collecting donations for these families. I encourage anyone interested in donating to check with the Sheriff's Office first. If there are legitimate sites, we will let the public know."

A prayer vigil was held Sunday at Woodside Bible Church in Troy. Woodside's Troy campus, located at 6600 Rochester Rd., held the vigil.

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