Rochester Hills splash pad reopens two weeks after shooting

The Rochester Hills splash pad where a gunman went on a rampage and shot nine people has reopened after more than two weeks of being closed.

"Eight of the nine victims are home and recovering," said Mayor Bryan Barnett. "The one remaining victim in the hospital is on a road to recovery." 

In a social media post, the city of Rochester Hills said the fence blocking off access to the Brooklands Splash Pad had been taken down. As part of the city's journey toward healing, officials had planned on reopening the park at the right time.

"I know this place is meant for kids to have fun, and not to worry about gun shooters and stuff like that," said 9-year-old Vidhan Patel, who showed up to the splash pad to play on Wednesday. 

Vidhan was accompanied by his 13-year-old sister, Vishva Patel.

"My friends were here (at the time of the shooting)," she said. "I was really scared for them."

Previously, the community had gathered at the Festival of the Hills to honor the victims. 

The next step, the announcement which was posted on Facebook said, was to reopen the splash pad and allow the community to return at their own pace.

"This is a place that is supposed to be, and will be, about happiness – about joy, about creating memories with family, and celebrating community,"  Barnett said. "We're reclaiming it for that."

The City of Rochester Hills announced the splash pad in the city was reopened 2-and-a-half weeks after the shooting that hurt 9 people including multiple children.

"Evil will not win here. Not in a place where laughter and squeals of joy abound. There will never be a moment that we do not think about what happened," the post read.

In the most recent update of the victims, eight of the nine who were shot had been discharged from the hospital. Only a mother injured in the shooting remains, though, she continues to make progress.

The splash pad will reopen from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. Additional police will also be in the area as an added source of safety and security. 

The gunman, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, is believed to have suffered from mental health issues

Workers from Oakland County's health department were also on site Wednesday, providing people with information about mental health resources they can access for free.

"We really want to not walk away from this issue," Barnett said. "Mental health is a continuing problem in this country, and we’re going to do what we can in our little corner of the world."

The mayor says his goal is to hear children’s laughter in the splash-pad once again.

"I’m hoping that our community can come together and start coming back here," Vishva told FOX 2.

To utilize any of the free mental health resources provided by the county, click here.


Prosecutor mulls charges for mother of Rochester Hills splash pad shooter

The Macomb County Prosecutor is considering possible charges against the mom of the Rochester Hills splash pad shooting -- but says the law may need addressing.