A mass shooting at a Michigan high school claimed the lives of a student and the suspect’s dad, who later committed suicide, the FBI and sheriff’s officials said Thursday.
The father was shot inside the room at the school in Farmington Hills, police and sheriff’s officials said. The suspect, a student at the school, then fatally shot a classmate, then himself. He died later at a hospital.
The incident unfolded Thursday morning at Farmington High School, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) northwest of Detroit.
“I’ve been doing this for 43 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Farmington police chief Dave Thomas said.
The suspect used a shotgun to fire at two students before taking his own life, Detroit Public Schools Police Chief James Tolbert said. The victims have been identified as 15-year-old Anthony Harris and the suspect, 15-year-old Darryl Watts.
The father of the suspect was shot at the school and is in critical condition at an area hospital, Tolbert said.
Authorities did not release the name of the father because they do not know his relationship to the shooter, he said. He’s being treated for a head wound.
The suspect was in a classroom when authorities believe he took the gun from another student and opened fire, Thomas said.
The first shots were fired around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, and the suspect left the classroom with the shotgun in his backpack, the chief said. Authorities and the public did not hear of the shooting until later because the suspect had walked into a classroom and was blending in with students, officials said.
He then went to a different classroom, where he killed Harris and wounded a second student.
After taking his own life, police believe the suspect had enough time to reload his weapon, Tolbert said.
“At no time did it look like he was going to stop shooting,” he said.
Teachers and school staff saw the suspect take the gun from another student and begin shooting and chased him, officials said. The student who was shot in the classroom who subdued the suspect when he was being apprehended helped in taming the boy, Thomas said.
The Detroit News identified the suspect as Darryl Watts. The newspaper said he is the son of Jeff Watts, the city manager for Farmington Hills.
Farmington Public Schools issued a statement, saying school was canceled for the rest of the day. It added: “The school community is experiencing a lot of pain and sorrow today. We are heartbroken by the loss of life.”
The school will be closed all day Thursday and all activities scheduled to take place at the high school have been canceled, officials said.
“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the tragic event that took place this morning at Farmington High School,” the district said.
Authorities said the FBI was on the scene, along with the Farmington and Oakland County sheriff’s departments. The Metropolitan Detroit chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness has set up a counseling center at the high school.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.