Student says he shot himself after attacking the school library and killing at least three people
Authorities say a 19-year-old student has killed three people at a Michigan high school and injured at least six others before a shooting ended with the teen gunman shooting himself.
The shooter at Pinckney High School in Jackson County, north of Lansing, also injured two people on Wednesday in a gym, authorities said. They didn’t provide details of their injuries.
The shooting took place in the school’s library just before classes began around 7.45am.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene, with people running in a panic. Rick VanNess, the county prosecutor, said the wounded were taken to a hospital in Grand Rapids.
“He opened fire on his victims. He killed three and injured six others,” VanNess said. “I heard two people screaming, ‘He shot me.’”
Police announced the shooting during a press conference around 9.30am. The suspect was taken to hospital. No names have been released.
Paul Warner, one of the students at the school, said he was in class when he heard a “pulsing noise”, about the same time someone yelled something about a fire alarm. He said he later saw someone being carried out of the library on a stretcher.
Joseph Trotta, assistant fire chief, said: “Somebody is going to be in a hospital bed tomorrow with bullet wounds or no limbs.”
Joseph Trotta, assistant fire chief, said: “Somebody is going to be in a hospital bed tomorrow with bullet wounds or no limbs.” Photograph: Attila Kisbenedek/EPA
Officials said the school had been on lockdown, while police searched it. A parent, Raegan Miller, said she went to the school to pick up her son, but wasn’t allowed in. She said he told her he heard gunshots, but it wasn’t clear how many.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Miller said. “Something like this, you don’t ever plan for this to happen.”
The school building was surrounded by emergency vehicles and police officers, and a cordoned-off stretch of highway was lined with news reporters and onlookers.
Wyatt Penwell, 15, said he was waiting in a line to get on the school bus when he heard shots ring out. “They weren’t real loud,” he said. “I thought it was kids playing around, but then I saw a guy on the ground … I saw blood, I saw a girl’s leg.”
A neighbor of the attacker said he was a student at the school and recently attended a counter-terrorism training seminar at a local college.
John Greenwood said he called police several times to report what he described as erratic behavior by Matthew Milby. The neighbourhood in Pinckney is dotted with single-family homes and older apartment buildings.
“He didn’t say very much, but when he did say something, it was alarming,” Greenwood said. “As far as I know, he was a bright kid. He’s got a lot of friends.”
U.S. children report widespread anxiety about crime, suicide and school violence to a small but growing number of institutions. According to a recent analysis of a large national survey of students conducted by the University of Maryland, about 12% of adolescents said they had tried to hurt themselves.
About 50 people gathered outside the school in the afternoon for a prayer vigil. Around a dozen students in school uniforms attended the gathering, where they knelt at a spot in the grass near where the shooting occurred. Others held up signs urging prayers for the victims. “God is watching,” one read.