Temporary fencing has been erected around the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad after a shooter injured nine people. Rochester Hills officials said the splash pad is closed “until further notice.”

Temporary fencing has been erected around the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad after a shooter injured nine people. Rochester Hills officials said the splash pad is closed “until further notice.”

Photo by Mary Beth Almond

Suspect dead, nine injured in splash pad shooting in Rochester Hills

Sheriff: ‘This has become all too common in America, and especially, all too common in our community’

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published June 16, 2024

 A gun was found in the home, and the suspect was found deceased.

A gun was found in the home, and the suspect was found deceased.

Photo provided by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office


ROCHESTER HILLS — A man was found dead by suicide after reportedly opening fire at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad, injuring nine people in Rochester Hills June 15.

“I, in my worst nightmare, couldn’t have imagined standing up here again talking about another active shooter,” Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said in an 11 p.m. press conference the night of the shooting.

Bouchard said the incident was a “gut punch” for Oakland County Sheriff’s Office deputies, after their response to the active shooter tragedies at Oxford High School in November 2021 and Michigan State University in February 2023.

“Unfortunately, this has become all too common in America, and especially, all too common in our community.”

Over the weekend, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center was notified of an active shooter at the Brookland Plaza splash pad, 1585 E. Auburn Road, between John R and Dequindre Road, at 5:11 p.m. June 15.

The gunman, according to reports, drove himself to the splash pad and opened fire from the steps, just 20-feet away from the victims.

“It appears the individual pulled up, exited a vehicle, approached the splash pad, opened fire. Reloaded. Opened fire. Reloaded. Left. It was very random. At this point, there is no connectivity to the victims,” Bouchard said.

A deputy from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office was on the scene within two minutes of the 911 call, thanks to new technology called Live911.

“One of our deputies was monitoring Live911 — that allows us to hear what is coming in to dispatch before it is even put out over the radio — so he heard that call come in, immediately self-deployed to the splash pad, and was on scene in less than two minutes, prior to 5:13 p.m.,” Bouchard explained. “The suspect had already fled that scene upon that arrival, but, obviously, there were multiple victims wounded on scene, so our deputies began providing emergency first aid, including tourniquets.”

The victims were taken to four area hospitals.

“(These) include an 8-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the head — he is in critical condition. We have a 4-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the thigh — he’s stable. A 39-year-old woman with wounds to the abdomen and leg, she’s critical. And that’s all from one family,” Bouchard said during a June 16 press conference. “We have a 39-year-old white female, she has wounds to the back and arm — she’s considered stable. A 30-year-old female with wounds to the thigh and buttocks — she’s considered stable. A 30-year-old male with a right leg wound, considered stable. A 78-year-old male with an abdominal wound — considered stable. A 37-year-old female with a hand wound — considered stable, and a 40-year-old male with a right knee wound — considered stable as well.”

A 9 mm Glock handgun was recovered at the scene, along with three magazines and at least 28 shell casings. Bouchard said the gun was registered, leading deputies to a mobile home in Shelby Township.

During a press conference June 17, Bouchard announced the number of shell casings discovered on the scene had increased to 36 and that investigators believe the man had two pistols on the scene — one that he left there and one that was found next to his body at his home.

Within 45 minutes to an hour after the shooting, deputies said, the suspect was “contained” in the home in Shelby Township within a half mile from the splash pad.

“The reason that quick containment is critically important, and why potentially more lives were saved, is because we don’t know what the next chapter was going to be,” Bouchard said.

After attempts to contact the suspect failed, deputies deployed drones to examine the home and found the suspect deceased inside, next to a handgun. The man, a 42-year-old man from Shelby Township, died by suicide, according to reports.

Investigators recovered another weapon inside the home — what Bouchard said appears to be a semi-automatic 223 rifle — on the kitchen table.

“I do know that individual was in that house, with that weapon. I’m not sure how many other weapons were in that house — again, it’s still an active scene being processed — but I believe that because we had quick containment on him, that if he had planned to do anything else, and it wouldn’t surprise me, because having that on the kitchen table is not an everyday activity, there was probably something else, a second chapter, potentially,” he said.

An update by Bouchard for media  June 17 revealed 11 guns were recovered  within the home — including the one on the kitchen table and the one next this body.

The gunman — who reportedly lived with his mother and is believed to have mental health challenges — had no known previous criminal activity and no connection to the victims or the location, the sheriff said. He was identified as Michael William Nash, 42, of Shelby Township.

“Obviously, we will be looking for any evidence or manifest or anything that would give us an inclination of what may be driving this individual to this terrible moment,” he said. “We have no contact on record with him, either on the home, by Shelby Township, or any criminal history that we are aware of, so it’s going to be one of those challenges to try to figure out why there appears to be no connection between the victims and that location whatsoever. The person doesn’t live in Rochester Hills and he went to a Rochester Hills park. It may be very much like Michigan State University, where the person had no connection to Michigan State but just decided to go there to find victims,” Bouchard said.

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said that when he got to the scene, he started to cry, because he knows “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 and enjoy a Saturday afternoon, and it wasn’t today,” Barnett said at the press conference. “It’s a mental reset. It’s a reminder that we live in a fragile place, with fragile people, and it’s also a reminder to be grateful for professionals. There were a hundred firefighters and sheriff’s deputies out there today.”

The mayor said Rochester Hills is “fully-focused” on helping all the families injured — which he said includes the family of a Rochester Hills employee —  heal, provide the resources needed, and “begin to get the community back on its feet again.”

“I imagine that mental health will be a discussion that will follow this story for some time, and we want to make sure that we’re doing all we can to support those folks that have seen some very challenging things and get them the help that they need,” Barnett added.

Rochester Hills City Council President Ryan Deel said he and his wife, Melinda, are “absolutely devastated by this senseless tragedy.”

“The idea that something like this would happen is unfathomable. The thought that any fathers or children would be spending Father’s Day in a hospital is just heartbreaking,” he said in an emailed statement. “To the victims and their families, our hearts and prayers are with you tonight. Our Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard, his team, our fire department and the many other law enforcement agencies that responded did an outstanding job bringing this to a resolution. Mayor Bryan Barnett called me when he was en route to the scene and kept me up-to-date as the events unfolded. As a community, we are all in this together and we will get through this together.”

Several other political leaders weighed in on the tragedy.

State Sen. Michael Webber, who represents and lives in Rochester Hills, said he was “heartbroken” by the “horrific shooting.”

“I am praying for the victims and their families. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to our first responders, including the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, the Rochester Police Department and nearby paramedics who responded quickly. The Greater Rochester Area will remain a strong community, and we will support each other during this tragic time,” he said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. John James, who represents Rochester Hills in Congress, said under no circumstance in this country, particularly in Rochester Hills, should fathers be spending Father’s Day in a hospital.

“This is an American epidemic that we need to fix, gun violence needs to stop, and we are now, most recently, hit the hardest by it,” James said. “We’re working at every level of government to make sure that our communities stay safe and stay whole. Under no circumstances is it normal for ice cream cones and flips-flops to be strewn amongst blood and bullet casings.”

As of 2 p.m. June 17, Bouchard said two of the victims, a 37-year-old female and a 78-year-old man had been released from the hospital. He expected the 39-year-old woman with wounds to the back and arm to also be released soon. The other victims, he noted, remained in the same condition — two of them still in critical condition at press time.

To aid in the recovery process, OCHN has opened a Family Assistance Center at the Rochester Hills Department of Public Services, 511 E. Auburn Road, where counselors will be available 4-8 p.m. Monday-Friday. No appointment is necessary. Clear signage by the road marks the entrance to the center.

Individuals unable to visit the Family Assistance Center may call the Oakland County Nurse on Call to access mental health resources at (800) 848-5533, available 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. The Michigan Crisis and Access Line is available at 988 24 hours a day, seven days a week. OCHN’s non-emergency behavioral health access department is at (248) 464-6363, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, you can reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988 — formally known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Those who may need help supporting a loved one through a difficult time can also call or text 988.

For more information about mental health care resources and support, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine can be reached 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Eastern Time Mondays-Fridays, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email info@nami.org.