Couple shot seven times while shielding daughters as gunman opened fire at Michigan splash pad

The incident was one of three mass shootings that occurred in Michigan on Saturday

Martha McHardy
Tuesday 18 June 2024 20:03 BST
Micayla and Eric Coughlin from Rochester Hills pictured with their daughters
Micayla and Eric Coughlin from Rochester Hills pictured with their daughters (GoFundMe)
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A Michigan couple were shot seven times on Saturday as they frantically shielded their daughters from a gunman who opened fire at a splash pad in Rochester Hills.

Micayla and Eric Coughlin and their two daughters, aged two and seven months, had been at Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad for less than a minute when a gunman, identified by police as Michael William Nash, 42, of Shelby Township, pulled up in his vehicle and began firing at surrounding families.

In a message posted to a GoFundMe page created for the Coughlins, family friend Noel Wakul wrote that the couple were getting ice cream with their children when they heard the sound of gunfire. As the shots rang out, the Coughlins grabbed their daughters and ran in an effort to protect them, the message added.

Wakul went on to write that the Coughlins were shot seven times as they ran away from the gunman. They were both hospitalized after the nighmare.

“Because of their heroic actions, their children were protected and able to go home that evening,” Wakul said, adding that Micayla and Eric “face a long and unknown recovery from this unthinkable tragedy.”

The Coughlins were among nine people shot by the gunman, authorities said.

Police said other victims included an 8-year-old boy who was in critical condition with a wound to the head and a 4-year-old boy who was in a stable condition with a wound to the thigh. A 39-year-old woman shot in the abdomen and leg was also in critical condition.

Officials with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department, Rochester Hills Fire Department and other jurisdictions secure the scene of a shooting at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad, Saturday
Officials with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department, Rochester Hills Fire Department and other jurisdictions secure the scene of a shooting at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad, Saturday (Detroit News)

At a press conference, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard described the shooting as “very random” and “bizzare,” adding that Nash has no known connections to the victims.

He said police responded to reports of gunfire after two minutes. When they arrived, he said, the gunman had already left and contained himself in a nearby Shelby Township home. A weapon, a 9mm Glock, was recovered at the scene along with three magazines.

Nash was later found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at the Shelby Township home. Alongside his body, police also found a semi-automatic rifle, which Bouchard said suggested Nash could have had plans for a “second chapter.”

Police respond to the scene of a shooting at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad, Saturday, June 15, 2024, in Rochester Hills, Mich
Police respond to the scene of a shooting at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad, Saturday, June 15, 2024, in Rochester Hills, Mich (WXYZ via AP)

The incident was one of three mass shootings that occurred in Michigan on Saturday, all in metro Detroit.

In Lathrup Village, six people were shot at a house party Saturday morning shortly after midnight. Two were in critical condition. In Detroit, a woman was killed and four other people were shot late Saturday night. The victims in both shootings were teenagers and young adults.

“We’re getting all too good at this,” Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter said on Sunday at a news conference.

“I can only describe the last 24 hours as a nightmare,” Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett added.

Meanwhile, residents of Shelby Township, where Nash lived, told Detroit Free Press that they were shocked by the shooting.

“This is a safe area, and that’s why I’m so shocked at what happened,” Adam Urquhart Sr. said. “When it happens this close to home, it’s hard.”

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