Shooting at splash pad in Detroit suburb injures 8, including 2 children. An 8-year-old is critical

Police respond to the scene of a shooting at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad, Saturday, June 15, 2024, in Rochester Hills, Mich. The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office says there are “numerous wounded victims” after police were called for an active shooter. (WXYZ via AP)

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Eight people were injured, including an 8-year-old boy who was struck in the head and was in critical condition, after a shooter opened fire at a splash pad in a Detroit suburb where families gathered to escape the summer heat Saturday. Law enforcement tracked a suspect to a home, where the person died by suicide, authorities said.

At least two of the victims were children, officials said. Authorities initially said they believed as many as 10 people had gunshot wounds from the shooting in Rochester Hills, but that number was lowered later on after they checked with area hospitals.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said a suspect was contained in a home nearby, and law enforcement had it surrounded. Rochester said via Facebook that the person took their own life.

Bouchard provided the information about the 8-year-old who was in critical condition during a nighttime news conference, where he also said that two of the boy’s relatives, including a 4-year-old, had also been shot.

He added that the first deputies who arrived at the scene immediately began providing first aid including tourniquets.

Officers also were able to quickly come up with a likely address, and a car matching the suspect’s vehicle was at the residence.

The shooting happened just after 5 p.m. at a city park featuring a recreation area with a non-slip surface where people can turn on sprays and fountains of water to play in. Bouchard said it the shooting appeared to be random, with the shooter driving up to the park, walking to the splash pad and firing as many as 28 times, stopping multiple times to reload.

A handgun and three empty magazines were recovered, the sheriff said.

Police cordoned off the scene of the shooting with tape, and dozens of yellow evidence markers lay on on the ground among colorful folding chairs.

In a social media post, authorities said there was still an active crime scene and asked people to avoid the area. Bouchard said it was safe for those sheltering in the park to head home.

Police heard the 911 call reporting the shooting as it came in, Bouchard said, because the agency uses a service that simultaneously sends emergency calls to first responders. An officer was at the scene within two minutes, he said.

Rochester Hills is about 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of Oxford, where in 2021 a 15-year-old fatally shot four high school students.

Saturday’s shooting came at the end of the first full week of summer vacation for students attending Rochester Community schools.

Bouchard called it “a gut punch” for the county.

“We’ve gone through so many tragedies,” the sheriff said. “You know, we’re not even fully comprehending what happened at Oxford. And, you know, now we have another complete tragedy that we’re dealing with.”

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said on the social platform X that she was heartbroken to learn of the shooting and was in touch with local officials.