Detroit man facing eviction notice surrenders

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Detroit — A man who holed himself up in a van for hours Tuesday after an eviction notice and sparked a lengthy standoff with authorities in southwest Detroit has surrendered.

The man ended his standoff in the 800 block of Wheelock by 11 p.m., said Michigan State Police First Lt. Mike Shaw.

Negotiators who had been communicating with him since about 5 p.m. persuaded the man to leave with the van where he had two guns, Detroit Police Cmdr. Elvin Barren told reporters at the scene.

The man, described as in his late 60s, was expected to undergo treatment at Detroit Receiving Hospital for a gunshot wound to the buttocks sustained after an officer earlier opened fire, Barren said.  “We had a peaceful resolution.”

The man, who has not been identified, had been “upset at losing his home” when bailiffs attempted to serve an eviction notice Tuesday afternoon, sparking him to call 911 about 2 p.m. for what he he called an attempted break-in, Barren said.

The suspect allegedly produced a weapon after officers arrived; one fired at him, Barren said.  The man then ran off to a nearby minivan and refused to leave, Shaw said.

He declined medical attention and told investigators he planned to leave the van “in his own time,” Barren said.

The Detroit police SWAT team remained on the scene with state police into the evening. Squad cars blocked several intersections near the Fisher Freeway, diverting traffic through neighborhoods.

One man who lives near Lafayette had to park on another street when returning from work Tuesday evening. The police presence surprised him.

“Normally it’s very relaxing here,” he said, standing on his front porch. “We never saw something like that.”

Another neighbor had just returned from work when he heard what sounded like multiple gunshots around the corner.

“You just don’t know in this day and age what’s going on,” he said.

Neighbors who live on the man's street said he rarely leaves the property.

One woman said she has seen him sleeping in a van in the back of the property.

The man has not been known to cause trouble, she added, while waiting near the freeway with her family as the scene unfolded. “He’s quiet. He’s nice. He don’t do anything bad.”