Ortonville – A 34-year-old Clarkston man held in the shooting of his estranged wife and another man had a troubled month leading up to the gunfire that left both hospitalized.
Since mid-October, Michael Joseph Quigley had been the subject of a divorce filing, a personal protection order, hospitalized for suicidal threats, arrested and jailed for a hit-and-run accident and then voluntarily admitted to a drug crisis center, according to Oakland Circuit Court records and authorities.
“I don’t know what his personal demons are but he was trying to treat them with prescription drugs and like a lot of people his life spun out control,” said Robert White, attorney for Quigley’s estranged wife, Stephanie, who was reported in stable condition Wednesday night.
A manhunt for Quigley – who was on foot – ended late Wednesday afternoon when he was captured by a homeowner in the Rattle Lake Road area. Concerns about public safety prompted the shutdown of schools in Brandon, Clarkston and Ortonville areas and residents were cautioned to keep their doors locked.
About 8 p.m. Tuesday, he allegedly pushed his way into a Brandon Township apartment and shot his estranged wife and a male friend she was visiting at the address. The male victim’s 3-year-old son was present in the apartment but not harmed, Oakland County sheriff’s deputies said.
Both victims were wounded in the head: the man in the eye and Stephanie Quigley in the back of the head, by some of five rounds fired from a .22 caliber revolver, according to the sheriff’s office.
Both remain hospitalized in intensive care in stable condition. Investigators have been able to talk to both of them, sheriff’s Capt. Gary Miller said.
“He was found inside a car, which a resident noticed had fogged-up windows and windshield,” Miller said. “This was a tremendous effort by the people in the township and village. We’re relieved it’s over.”
Quigley, who was wrapped up in a blanket in the vehicle, “has said nothing,” Miller said.
The homeowner who found him said he armed himself and when he ordered Quigley out of the vehicle, the suspect said “OK ... he was very compliant,” the captain said.
The capture ended a nearly 24-hour search after Quigley fled the apartment, pointing a handgun at a passerby as he ran away. His pickup truck was found nearby, apparently out of gas. Investigators also recovered the silver revolver and Quigley’s cellphone.
Stephanie Quigley, also 34, filed for divorce Nov. 6, according to court records. In a request to Judge Lisa Langton for a personal protection order, Quigley cited her husband’s “mental instability and drug use” and said that on Oct. 29 he threatened to kill himself and “started to scream ‘but I love you. You are all I know and have.”
The confrontation took place in front of their four children, three boys and a girl aged 6 to 12 years old, who were “screaming and crying,” Stephanie Quigley wrote to Langton in her request.
“They are scared of him and afraid to be around him,” she wrote Langton.
Police were called and Quigley was taken to an area hospital by ambulance for “mental instability and possible drug overdose” his estranged wife wrote.
Quigley had a “bad history of drug use including tramadol, vicodin, narcos, oxycontin, morphine, Xanax” and adderral, she wrote.
“Michael’s thought and logic doesn’t make much sense right now,” she wrote. “He screams at the children when he’s around calls them stupid …”
Stephanie Quigley wrote that her husband stole $500 worth of quarters from her parents’ Lake Orion home on Oct. 29 and when police were called, returned some of the money and said he planned to see his psychiatrist the next week.
He also allegedly broke into another relative’s home in Clarkston recently and stole prescription drugs, Stephanie Quigley wrote.
On Oct. 25, five days earlier, she said Quigley had made a “shrine of pictures of me and him and the kids” on the floor and walls in an upstairs bedroom of the parents’ Lake Orion home.
Langton initially denied the PPO on Oct. 30, stating “insufficient factual allegations” made by Stephanie Quigley.
The judge had scheduled another hearing for Nov. 16. On Wednesday, that hearing was canceled and Langton granted the PPO.
“I don’t blame Judge Langton,” White said. “She is a competent, caring judge and I talked to her today and I know she feels horrible. But a PPO wouldn’t have necessarily prevented this. If someone is intent on doing something, they are going to do it. And if they aren’t thinking normally, a court order isn’t going to change that.”
White said he had prepared to argue about Quigley’s “bizarre behavior, including stalking, looking into windows and showing up” at his client’s address, most recently last weekend.
“He never seemed to present a direct threat to her – more to himself,” White said. “But once she filed for a PPO, things changed.”
According to the divorce filing, the pair were wed in August 2016.
“They had a lengthy relationship and the children were from that relationship,” White said. “It seems that only after they were married that things began to unravel.”
Quigley’s drug abuse was affecting his construction business and he “was taking down payments for work which he never delivered.”
On Nov. 11, Quigley was arrested after a hit-and-run accident in Pontiac and held briefly in the Oakland County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office. He was released the next day and admitted himself to Common Ground, a crisis center that provides treatment and counseling for people with mental and substance abuse problems.
Quigley had been a “seasonal” assistant middle school wrestling coach for the Lake Orion Community Schools, district spokesman Mark Snyder said. Unlike neighboring districts, Lake Orion remained open under a “soft lockdown” with sheriff’s deputies on site.