Michigan splash pad shooter identified as 42-year-old 'loner' going through 'mental health challenges'

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The 42-year-old gunman who left nine people injured after opening fire at a children’s splash pad in Michigan over the weekend is now being described by neighbors and officials as a “loner” who was “undergoing some mental health challenges.” 

Michael Nash was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Saturday after police traced a firearm recovered at the scene in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills back to a home he shared with his mother in Shelby Township, according to Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard. Inside that property, he says investigators found a semi-automatic rifle lying on the kitchen table. 

“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 – that there was probably something else, a second chapter, potentially,” Bouchard said during a press conference. “Obviously, we will be looking for any evidence or manifesto or anything that would give us an inclination of what may be driving this individual prior to this terrible moment.” 

“It’s our understanding that apparently he was undergoing some mental health challenges, but no one that we are aware of was notified,” Bouchard also said, describing that Nash had no prior criminal history. 


Michigan splash pad shooting

Officials with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, the Rochester Hills Fire Department and other jurisdictions secure the scene of a shooting at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad on Saturday, June 15 in Rochester Hills, Michigan. (Katy Kildee/Detroit News/AP)

Neighbors at the mobile home community where Nash lived told the Macomb Daily newspaper that he was a “loner” who always kept his home’s blinds shut. 

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office identified Nash as the suspect on Sunday, according to The Associated Press.

“My spidey senses tingled whenever I was around him,” one neighbor, who identified herself as Carol, said to the newspaper. “There was something about his demeanor that didn’t set right with me. I didn’t think he was that nuts, but anyone who would shoot a child, something’s wrong with him.” 

“We don’t know what his plans were,” another neighbor, Michelle Wheeler, told Macomb Daily. “Some of the neighbors thought maybe he wanted to do something to us, but nobody was around, so he left. Who knows, it could have been one of us that was shot.” 


Police investigate Detroit-area splash pad shooting

Police say 28 bullet casings were recovered at the scene of the shooting in Rochester Hills, Michigan, on Saturday. (Daniel Mears/Detroit News/AP)

The developments come as a GoFundMe page identified two of the victims as Micayla and Eric Coughlin, who apparently were shot while trying to protect their daughters, ages 2 and 7 months, on Saturday afternoon. 

“Shortly after grabbing ice cream they walked to the splash pad and were not even there for a minute when Micayla and Eric heard gunfire,” the page said. “In an effort to save their children, they each grabbed a child to protect them.” 

“In total, Micayla and Eric sustained seven gunshot wounds,” the GoFundMe page added. “They are hospitalized and undergoing necessary treatment. Because of their heroic actions, their children were protected and able to go home that evening.” 

Bouchard told reporters Saturday that 28 bullet casings were recovered at the scene of the shooting and that the victims had no known connection to Nash. 

Michigan splash pad shooting investigation

Police say there were no connections between suspected shooter Michael Nash and the victims. (Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images)


Two of the victims have been identified as an 8-year-old boy in critical condition and a 4-year-old in stable condition as of Sunday, according to the AP.

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