A student at a US high school where a 15-year-old boy allegedly opened fire on Tuesday (local time) stayed home after hearing vague threats about a shooting “for a long time now”.
Officers have identified the deceased as a 16-year-old boy, a 14-year-old girl and a 17-year-old girl.
Eight others — one teacher and seven students — were injured and rushed to multiple hospitals for treatment, Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe told reporters.
Rumours of shooting swirl around school
Students have told local publications that threats of a shooting at the high school had been floating around on social media in the days leading up to the attack.
Robin Redding said her son, Treshan Bryant, is a 12th grader at the school but stayed home on Tuesday. She said he had heard about the online threats.
“This couldn’t be just random,” she said.
Ms Redding didn’t provide specifics about what her son had heard, but she expressed concern with school safety in general.
“Kids just, like they’re just mad at each other at this school,” she said.
Bryant said he texted several younger cousins in the morning and they said they didn’t want to go to school, and he got a bad feeling. He asked his mom if he could do his assignments online.
Bryant said he had heard vague threats “for a long time now” about plans for a shooting at the school.
“You’re not supposed to play about that,” he said of the threats.
“This is real life.”
A Snapchat video reportedly taken by students locked in their classroom at Oxford High School during the shooting is now being shared online.
A man identifying himself as a police sheriff can be heard asking them to open the door, but, believing the man was a fake, the students declined and all climbed out of a window to safety.
Video taken inside Oxford High School, where the students feared the mass shooter was impersonating a sherif trying to get into the classroom to murder them. pic.twitter.com/FegXVV1Dr0
— David Leavitt (@David_Leavitt) November 30, 2021
Deer head found in front of school
Just three weeks before the shooting, the school district sent a letter to parents addressing “rumours” causing some concern for parents and students.
The letter also addressed a disturbing incident in early November when a severed deer head and graffiti were found in the school courtyard, Fox 2 reports.
“Student interpretations of social media posts and false information have exacerbated the overall concern,” the letter reads.
The district said highlighted the presence of security guards, a resource officer, counsellors and social workers at the school.
Alleged school shooter arrested
Undersheriff McCabe said police received more than 100 calls about an active shooter and the 15-year-old suspect was arrested minutes after tactical officers arrived at the scene.
“Deputies confronted him, he had the weapon on him, they took him into custody,” Mr McCabe said, adding that suspect wasn’t hurt and he refused to say how he got the gun into the school.
Officers recovered a semi-automatic handgun and several clips.
“He is currently being transported back to Pontiac for potential — he’s already invoked his right to not speak, so he wants an attorney,” the undersheriff told WDIV, adding that police will be heavily investigating the alleged shooter’s social media for a motive.
“He’s not telling us anything at this point in time.”
The school was placed on lockdown after the attack, with some children sheltering in locked classrooms while officers searched the premises.
They were later taken to a nearby Meijer grocery store to be picked up by their parents.
Isabel Flores told WJBK-TV that she and other students heard gunshots and saw another student bleeding from the face.
They then ran from the area through the rear of the school, Flores, a 15-year-old ninth grader, said.
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