Some people are calling a Brandon Township man a hero after he single-handedly captured a suspect accused of shooting two people this week.
On Friday, less than two days after the capture, Scott Laga has another description for himself – “relieved.”
“I’m still pretty nervous, I just want things to get back to normal,” Laga said. “Neither I nor my wife slept well last night. I stopped in at a hardware store just for a minute, which then turned into more than a half-hour of questions when a couple people there recognized me.”
According to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, the Brandon Township resident found Michael Quigley, 34, hiding under a blanket in a van on his property Wednesday afternoon. Laga held Quigley at gunpoint until police arrived and took him into custody.
Quigley was arraigned Friday in 52-2 District Court on multiple charges in the Tuesday night shooting of his estranged wife, Stephanie Quigley, 34, and her male friend, both of whom were wounded in the head.
Laga said he and his family had heard about the shooting and ensuing manhunt and had taken precautions, turning on outside lights around the property and locking up.
Laga had returned from work Wednesday afternoon when he noticed window shades had been pulled down inside his van stored outside a barn on his property.
On closer inspection, he noticed the vehicle’s windows were fogged up. Laga had checked the vehicle earlier in the morning and while he hadn’t seen anyone there, he armed himself with a 9 mm Luger pistol and told his family to keep the doors of their home locked. Laga peered inside the rear of the van and saw feet sticking out from a blanket on the floor.
“I told him it was over, to stay calm and everything would be all right and to get out of the van,” Laga said he told Quigley. “I also told him I was as nervous as him but to just lie down on the ground. I didn’t even know if he was armed or not.
“He said just one thing: ‘OK’ and was very compliant.”
Laga called 911 and kept his handgun trained on Quigley. He whistled at a neighbor who was letting his dogs out about 100 yards away.
“A SWAT team came out of the woods in just a couple minutes and I set my wallet and gun on the bumper,” he said.
Laga’s wife, 2-year-old daughter and mother-in-law were all inside the family’s house.
“The night before, we heard a helicopter and knew there was a search going on in our vicinity,” he said. “I never thought he would show up at my house.”
Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe praised Laga, a licensed gun owner, for his quick action.
“We are extremely grateful that he did what he did,” McCabe said. “He did a very heroic thing. He helped bring this tragic event to a successful conclusion.”
McCabe said authorities arrived on the scene to take Quigley into custody within about 1 minute and 35 seconds from when Laga’s 911 call was received.
Sheriff’s officials, he said, had been hunting Quigley for about 22 hours and the SWAT team was conducting a search just over a mile away when the call came in.
Quigley was apprehended about two and a half miles from where the shooting occurred.
Laga said he suspects Quigley walked along the utility line until he came to the man’s street and took shelter inside the van. He said it was possible the man had been inside the vehicle when he first inspected it Wednesday morning.
“I don’t know if he tried to start if up or not. It isn’t running – doesn’t even have a battery in it,” Laga said.