Fifteen-year-old student opens fire at a high school in Michigan state, killing three students and leaving eight other people including a teacher wounded, police say.

Authorities arrested suspect at the school and recovered a semi-automatic handgun and several clips.
Authorities arrested suspect at the school and recovered a semi-automatic handgun and several clips. (Reuters)

A 15-year-old sophomore has opened fire at his Michigan high school, killing three students and wounding eight other people, including a teacher.

Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe said at a news conference that he didn't know what the assailant's motives were for Tuesday's attack at Oxford High School in Oxford Township, a community of about 22,000 people roughly 48 kilometres north of Detroit.

Officers responded at around 12:55 pm [local time] to a flood of 911 calls about an active shooter at the school, McCabe said. 

Authorities arrested the suspect at the school and recovered a semi-automatic handgun and several clips.

"Deputies confronted him, he had the weapon on him, they took him into custody," McCabe said, declining to share more detail about the arrest.

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Suspect not talking to investigators

The three students who were killed were a 16-year-old boy and two girls, ages 14 and 17, McCabe said. 

Two of the wounded were undergoing surgery as of 5 pm and the six others who were wounded were in stable condition, he said.

McCabe said the suspect's parents visited their son where he's being held and advised him not to talk to investigators, as is his right. 

Police have to seek permission from a juvenile suspect's parents or guardian to speak with them, he added.

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'This couldn't be just random'

A concerned parent, Robin Redding, said her son, Treshan Bryant, is a 12th grader at the school but stayed home on Tuesday. 

She said he had heard threats that there could be shooting.

"This couldn't be just random," she said.

Redding didn't provide specifics about what her son had heard, but she expressed concern with school safety in general.

"Kids just, like they’re just mad at each other at this school," she said.

Bryant said he texted several younger cousins in the morning and they said they didn't want to go to school, and he got a bad feeling. He asked his mom if he could do his assignments online.

Bryant said he had heard vague threats "for a long time now" about plans for a shooting at the school.

"You’re not supposed to play about that," he said of the threats. "This is real life."

The school was placed on lockdown after the attack, with some children sheltering in locked classrooms while officers searched the premises. 

They were later taken to a nearby Meijer grocery store to be picked up by their parents.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies