Splash pad shooter who left eight people injured identified as 42-year-old who lived with his mom

At least one witness said 42-year-old Michael William Nash used two handguns but that hasn’t been confirmed

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Sunday 16 June 2024 19:05 BST
At least 9 wounded in Rochester Hills splashpad shooting

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A 42-year-old man who lived at home with his mom has been identified as the suspected shooter at the Rochester splash pad that left eight people hurt, police said.

Michael William Nash opened fire at the park in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills in Michigan, authorities said. He has been described by authorities as a white man who lived with his mother.

Nash had no criminal history, but it’s thought that he had mental health problems, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said, according to the Detroit Free Press.

While investigators are looking into Nash’s motive, Bouchard said he had no links to the victims.

Law enforcement followed the suspect to his home where he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Bouchard said Nash died by suicide after being “contained” at the Shelby Township home for several hours.

An eight-year-old was in critical condition on Saturday night, Bouchard said. The child’s mother was also in critical condition after being struck in the leg and abdomen while his four-year-old brother was in stable condition after being struck in the leg.

The other victims are all over the age of 30, the sheriff said. Among those shot were a husband and wife as well as a 78-year-old man.

The shooting took place just after 5pm on Saturday. Nash drove to the park, made his way over to the splash pad and began firing, discharging as many as 28 rounds, reloading on several occasions, police said.

Police investigate the scene of a shooting at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad on June 15 in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Police have now identified the suspect as a 42-year-old man.
Police investigate the scene of a shooting at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad on June 15 in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Police have now identified the suspect as a 42-year-old man. (AFP via Getty Images)

At least one witness said Nash used two handguns but that hasn’t been confirmed, the sheriff noted.

“People were falling, getting hit, trying to run,” Bouchard said. “Terrible things that unfortunately all of us in our law enforcement business have seen way too much.”

Nash also appeared to be “in no rush,” the sheriff added, and that he “just calmly walked back to his car.”

Following a 911 call, first responders began providing first aid, including tourniquets, and the police were able to locate a possible address for the suspect where a car matching the vehicle used by the gunman was seen.

Police investigate the scene of the shooting at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad in Rochester Hills, Michigan on Saturday. One victim, an eight-year-old boy was shot in the head.
Police investigate the scene of the shooting at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad in Rochester Hills, Michigan on Saturday. One victim, an eight-year-old boy was shot in the head. (Getty Images)

Bouchard said officers surrounded the home and attempted to speak to Nash but were unsuccessful. After sending in a drone, police entered the residence and found Nash dead.

The sheriff said finding the suspect quickly may have stopped a “second chapter” to the shooting as another weapon was found inside. Bouchard showed an image of a semiautomatic rifle on a table in the home.

He noted Nash didn’t live in Rochester Hills and it remains unclear why he chose to target the splash pad.

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

Officers found a handgun, three empty magazines, and 28 shell casings at the splash pad. They found a semiautomatic rifle at the home as well as a second handgun, believed to have been used by Nash to take his own life, the sheriff said.

Officers found a handgun, three empty magazines, and 28 shell casings at the splash pad
Officers found a handgun, three empty magazines, and 28 shell casings at the splash pad (AP)

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,” adding the shooting served as a reminder “that we live in a fragile place.”

Rochester Hills is about 15 miles south of Oxford where a 15-year-old shot and killed four students at a high school in 2021.

“Our most fervent hope, at least at his point, is that all of the injured victims have speedy recoveries,” the sheriff said. “None of us ... anticipated going into Father’s Day weekend with this kind of tragedy that families will be deeply affected by forever.”

“We’ve gone through so many tragedies,” he added. “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.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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