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Gunman, 42, who wounded nine at Michigan splash pad is identified


Published: 16:24 BST, 16 June 2024 | Updated: 21:21 BST, 16 June 2024

Michael William Nash, 42, has been identified as the man who shot up a splash pad in Rochester Hills, Michigan, injuring nine people, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office revealed Sunday morning.

The shooting took place on 5pm Saturday at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad, and Nash is alleged to have fired 28 rounds on the families there that day.

The gunman fled the scene to a nearby home within half a mile of the splash pad, leading to a tense hours-long standoff that ended when the shooter – described as a 42-year-old white male who lived with his mother – died by suicide. 

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told reporters in an impromptu update that Nash had no criminal history and was believed to have mental health issues. 

Among the nine people shot was a group of three individuals who are part of the same family. One was an eight-year-old boy who was shot in the head and remains in critical condition. Another was a four-year-old boy wounded in the thigh who is stable. The boys’ mother, a 39-year-old woman, was hit in the abdomen and leg. She is still in critical condition, according to the sheriff.

Oakland County Sheriff Evidence Technicians document the scene where a shooting took place at Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad in Rochester Hills, Michigan, on June 15, 2024

Aerial images from the scene showed a large number of evidence markers placed around the waterpark, where dozens of bullets were shot in quick succession

The oldest victim was a 78-year-old man who was shot in the abdomen and is in stable condition. 

Detectives are still investigating the possible motive of Nash because they haven’t found a connection between him and his victims.

‘In terms of the “why,” I don´t know,’ Bouchard said. 

Bouchard in an earlier press conference said the shooting ‘appears very random.’

‘It appears like the individual pulled up, exited a vehicle, approached the splash pad, opened fire, reloaded, opened fire, reloaded, left,’ he said.

The suspect was ‘apparently in no rush. Just calmly walked back to his car,’ he added.

At the scene, a Glock 9mm handgun and three corresponding magazines were found by cops. 

Nash died by suicide in a Shelby Township home after he was surrounded by cops for several hours after the attack at the splash pad.

Bouchard said his department made numerous failed attempts to contact the suspect, at which point they sent drones in to examine the home. That’s when Nash was found dead.

Even more chilling, a semi-automatic weapon was found on the kitchen table inside the home Nash was barricading himself inside. Bouchard suggested that Nash may have had plans for a ‘second chapter.’ 

The Glock 9mm handgun is seen lying on the ground near the splash pad were the suspect dropped it. Three magazines were also found

Evidence markers indicate the position of spent shell casings following the mass shooting

The suspect raced into a nearby home, and a tense standoff has ensued with cops cornering the gunman inside the property

Investigators also discovered an assault rifle on the kitchen table of the home, which officials feared would have been used for the ‘next chapter’ of the shooting spree before it was thwarted 

An officer with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department secures the scene of a shooting at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad early Saturday evening 

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard puts out an initial address following the Saturday splash pad shooting

‘It’s a gut-punch,’ Bouchard said at an earlier press conference. ‘We’re not fully comprehending what happened at Oxford and now we have another complete tragedy that we’re dealing with.’ 

Rochester Hills is about 15 miles south of Oxford, where in 2021, then 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley murdered four students at his high school. Last year, the teenager was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Authorities who dealt with the aftermath of the splash pad mass shooting described horrific images of people running for their lives as bullets were flying. They said they saw ice cream cones and flip flops covered in blood. 

Officers’ response time was just under two minutes, thanks to a new kind of 911 response system that allows them to listen to 911 calls live instead of waiting for a dispatcher.

The quickness with which police arrived also contributed to the prevention of further chaos, since Nash was found to have the semi-automatic rifle in his possession. 

Nash´s neighbors told the Detroit News that Nash´s father died two years ago and he lived with his mother, who has been traveling the United States.

‘He´s a loner. The blinds are always pulled over there,’ neighbor Kyleen Duchene told the newspaper.

Nash´s mother was ‘super friendly and nice’ but Nash himself rarely left the house, neighbor Alex Roser said.

‘And when he did, he didn´t even say “hi” back to us when we would acknowledge him,’ Roser said. ‘He was very quiet and didn’t want to be a part of our community.’

Officers’ response time was just under two minutes, thanks to a new kind of 911 response system that allows them to listen to 911 calls live instead of waiting for a dispatcher

Streets close to the splash pad park were closed by police and emergency personnel Saturday evening

The city-run splash pad faces Auburn Road and is located between a T-Mobile cell phone store and Mozzarella’s, a pizzeria, west of the plaza. 

Streets close to the splash pad park were closed by police and emergency personnel Saturday evening.

‘I love my community and my heart breaks today,’ Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said. ‘When I got on scene I started to cry because I know what a splash pad is supposed to be. It´s supposed to be a place where people gather, where families make memories, where people have fun.’

Michigan Congressman John James said he was downtown at Huntington Place for former President Donald Trump’s address to Turning Point USA when he heard news of the shooting, and raced to the scene to lend support.

‘Under no circumstances in this country, particularly in Rochester Hills, should fathers be spending Father’s Day in a hospital,’ he said.

‘We’re doing everything we possibly can to help the families in need. And (I want to) give a shout-out to first responders who mitigated further damage and who are still in harm’s way to bring resolution to this crisis.’

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer added in a tweet: ‘I am 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.’

Rochester Hills is about 25 miles north of Detroit and has a population of about 76,000 people.

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