SOUTHGATE, Mich. (WXYZ) - Southgate Community Schools superintendent Bill Grusecki says an eighth grade student committed suicide Thursday morning at Davidson Middle School.
Police say the boy was found in a restroom before classes began at about 8:15 a.m. Another student discovered the boy and alerted a teacher. Staff members immediately stepped in and called police.
The boy was transported to a hospital where he died.
The student died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Police say he had a .40-caliber handgun. Police say the gun was legally registered to a family member. Police are not releasing the boy's name until family has had time to notify all relatives.
According to a public safety officer for Southgate, there were no other students in the restroom at the time of the incident.
During a news conference, police said an apparent suicide note was found with the boy. School and police representatives said they had not found anything to indicate that this was a result of bullying, but say the investigation is ongoing. Authorities also say the boy did mention another student in his note, but that it appeared to be more of a goodbye rather than having an issue with that person.
The superintendent says they have a district-wide bullying policy and he said there is no indication that was happening to this boy.
“From what I understand, he was a very good student, somewhat popular… talking with the staff at the building – he had never gone to anybody with any issues or problems or anything like that," said superintendent Grusecki.
The school was placed on lockdown and parents were asked to pick up their children from the building, located on Trenton Road near Eureka.
The Southgate Fire Department was dispatched to the school at 8:15 a.m. and school officials later announced a lockdown.
As parents arrived at the school, police allowed students to go inside in small groups to retrieve their belongings from lockers. Some children exiting the school appeared to be visibly upset.
“It’s tragic, you know,” said parent Richard Egan. “You never think of an 8 th grader shooting and killing themselves… not in a school.”
Parents who spoke to 7 Action News said as they try to make sense of this tragedy themselves they have the tough job of trying to help their children cope with a devastating day.
“With all of the other school shootings it’s a relief to be able to bring [my son] home with me,” said Egan.
“I don’t even know how to process this yet so it’s going to take a minute,” said Belesky.
School has been canceled for Friday.
When classes resume on Monday, the school will have grief counselors on hand for students.
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