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

The 42-year-old gunman who opened fire at a children’s playground in Michigan last weekend, wounding nine people, is now being described by local residents and authorities as a “lonely person” who had “mental issues.”

Michael Nash was found dead Saturday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard. Police recovered a gun at the scene in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills and located it at the home Nash shared with his mother in Shelby Township. Inside the home, investigators found a semi-automatic rifle on a kitchen table, he said.

“Because we contained him quickly, it would not be a surprise if he had planned something else, because it’s not something you do every day at a kitchen table, there was probably something else, like a second chapter,” Bouchard said at a news conference. “Of course, we’re going to be looking for evidence, statements and so on that give us clues about what was driving this individual prior to this horrific moment.”

“Our understanding is that he apparently had some mental health issues that were not made known to anyone that we knew,” Bouchard said, explaining that Nash had no criminal history.

Multiple people injured, including two children, in Michigan splash pad shooting

Officers from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, Rochester Hills Fire Department and other law enforcement agencies cordon off the scene of a shooting that occurred at Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad in Rochester Hills, Michigan on Saturday, June 15. (Katie Kildee/The Detroit News/Associated Press)

Neighbors in the mobile home community where Nash lived told the Macomb Daily that he was a “loner” who always kept the blinds closed in his home.

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

“My spider-sense just tingled whenever I was around him,” a neighbor who identified herself as Carol told the newspaper. “There was just something about his behavior that didn’t make sense. I didn’t think he was that crazy, but there’s something wrong with someone who shoots a child.”

“We don’t know what he was planning,” another neighbor, Michelle Wheeler, told the Macomb Daily. “The neighbors thought maybe he was planning to do something to us, but no one was there so he just left. Maybe one of us got shot.”

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Police investigating Detroit-area splash pad shooting

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

The move comes after a GoFundMe page identified two of the victims as Mikayla Coughlin and Eric Coughlin, who were shot Saturday afternoon while apparently trying to protect their daughters, ages 2 and 7 months.

“Right after getting their ice cream, the couple walked to the splash pad, and within a minute of getting there, Mikayla and Eric heard gunshots,” the page read. “In an attempt to save their children, they each grabbed one child at a time.”

“Mikayla and Eric suffered a total of seven gunshot wounds,” the GoFundMe page states. “They are both hospitalized and receiving the medical treatment they need. Thanks to their heroic actions, their children were rescued and returned home that evening.”

Bouchard told reporters Saturday that 28 shell casings were found at the scene of the shooting and that it was unclear whether the victims had any connection to Nash.

Michigan Splash Pad Shooting Investigation

Police said there was no connection between the shooting suspect, Michael Nash, and the victim. (Jeff Kowalski/AFP via Getty Images)

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