Police in standoff with barricaded gunman in St. Clair Shores
St. Clair Shores — A residential block in St. Clair Shores remains blocked offFriday night by police after a gunman barricaded himself in his home.
St. Clair Shores Dept. Chief Gary Crandall briefed the media Friday evening, just hours after shots were fired when a robot was sent into the home where the man has been holed up since late Thursday. The tactic was among multiple efforts, including smoke bombs, used in an attempt to remove the gunman from the home on St. Margaret Street.
Just after 4 p.m., Crandall said officers intended to take additional measures to "try to resolve this peacefully and quickly." Earlier in the evening, the robot's cameras revealed the gunman had barricaded himself in the basement.
The standoff began about 10 p.m. Thursday on the street between Masonic and 13 Mile, and wounded at least two people, including a child, said a woman who lives on the street.
Channita Jackson's 62-year-old mother and 12-year-old niece were injured, she said Thursday, when a neighbor, apparently angered by Fourth of July celebrations, fired shots.
Police said the injuries were non-life threatening. Jackson confirmed Friday that her mother, who'd been shot in the bicep, and niece, who was struck in the leg, had been released from the hospital.
Jackson said a large group of relatives had gathered at her home for the July 4th holiday and some of the youths were lighting sparklers when the neighbor allegedly started antagonizing them with a laser beam.
The family asked him to stop, and his girlfriend had taken the man back inside his home, but he returned and started shooting, Jackson said Thursday night.
The gunman’s girlfriend, who lives in the home, was last seen Thursday apologizing to the Jackson family for his behavior over the fireworks before he fired shots at the neighbors. It’s unclear if she is still in the home, Crandall said Friday.
“As of right now, I’m not aware of any woman in the house,” he said. “I know there’s a woman that lives there but I’m not aware if she was part of this (or) if she’s in the house.
“Based on our conversations, we don’t hear any screaming or hear anything. It doesn’t look like anyone’s reaching out to us for help,” he added.
When asked if the girlfriend could be dead, Crandall said: “Anything could be possible."
The gunman, Crandall said, refused to communicate with authorities. Police have seen several guns in the home and have not attempted to cut power lines, he said.
Just before 9 p.m. Friday, a crowd of about 30 people congregated near the scene, including a group of about 10 residents gathered on a nearby porch. Police, bomb disposal vehicles and an ambulance were also visible on the street.
Larry Heier lives about six houses down. He met the couple years ago, saying "he was nice as he could be."
Heier said he slept on top of a sweatshirt in his car across the street on Thursday. Neighbors have been in a holding pattern, unable to come or go, since the incident unfolded.
While authorities are not releasing the man’s name, Crandall said the department has handled issues with the gunman and his neighbors in the past.
“I’ve been told in the last few years there have been a lot of issues with neighbors and people calling the police on him,” he said.
Jackson said she made the call to 911 to report the Thursday shooting. It wasn't the first time she called police due to interactions with that neighbor, she said.
“I’ve filed more than 20 police reports ... ,” said Jackson, who has lived across from the man for five years. “One time, he just came in my house and cussed me out for nothing. Police said he didn’t break in because the door was open.”
Police officers blocked off both ends of the street, and shots were fired from the home throughout the night, neighbors and police said
As the standoff neared the 15-hour mark Friday and a robot had been sent into the house, shots could be heard from down the street at 12:45 p.m. Smoke was coming from the home.
Jackson was standing Friday afternoon behind yellow crime scene tape, saying police haven’t allowed her back into her home since Thursday night.
This shouldn't have happened," she said. "There were multiple problems with him but this wasn’t expected, not at all."
Brendan Hedge said he was outside Thursday night when he heard the commotion.
“We were about 10 houses down when police arrived and they weren’t sure what was going on,” said Hedge, 20. “Next thing you know, he started shooting out at the cops, about five shots, (and) cops turned to us screaming 'run' so we wouldn’t get ricocheted.”
Hedge said he and his friend stayed until about 4:30 a.m. Friday and returned at 10 a.m. to see what would happen.
"This isn't common for St. Clair Shores," he said.