Fatally shot Port Huron officer ID'd

Charles E. Ramirez and Sarah Rahal
Associated Press

An off-duty Port Huron police lieutenant was killed and two others were wounded in a shooting at a Clyde Township apartment building, officials said.

Lt. Joel Wood, 45, was a 22-year veteran of the Port Huron Police Department. 

The shooting happened early Friday in the 4700 block of Atkins Road in the township, according to the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office.

Clyde Township is about 65 miles northeast of Detroit and about 12 miles northwest of Port Huron.

St. Clair County Undersheriff Tom Buckley said in a statement deputies received a call about shots fired just before 1 a.m.

Deputies arrived and found a 29-year-old Clyde Township woman and a 57-year-old Clyde Township man with gunshot wounds, he said.

A preliminary investigation showed the woman had run to the man’s home and pounded on his door while attempting to escape from another man who was chasing her, police said. The suspect then shot her and shot the neighbor, Buckley said. Both victims were taken to a hospital by emergency medical technicians.

Deputies then discovered an apartment in the area where they found Wood's body. They said he had apparently been visiting the female victim when the shooting happened. 

They also determined the suspect in the shooting had fled into the nearby woods. Buckley said a K-9 unit was deployed to track the suspect but were not able to find him.

"Information from victims on scene gave us information on the suspect and lead us to believe he was still in the area, we set up a perimeter in the area and a K-9 track led us to believe the suspect left the area in a vehicle," Buckley said.

The suspect was eventually found him at a gas station on Telegraph Road in Southfield just before 5 a.m., about 75 miles from the scene of the crime. 

Buckley said police arrested the suspect without incident and have taken him to the St. Clair County Intervention and Detention Center.

"As of right now, our detectives and members of the Port Huron Police Department are continuing the investigation," said Buckley. "We are confident the suspect in custody is responsible for the attack on the victims and in this case, the death of the Port Huron lieutenant."

Aaron Shown, who lives in the apartment complex where the shootings happened, says he returned to the apartment building after working a late shift and found the driveway marked with crime scene tape. He says, “This kind of stuff doesn’t happen out here.”

Port Huron Police Chief Joe Platzer said the department is grieving after losing the veteran officer. 

"We lost a 22-year-veteran of the police department. With this loss, we are asking everyone respect the privacy of the Lt. Wood's family… This is a tragic loss from the Port Huron Police Department. Lt. Wood was a great officer."


Twitter: @CharlesERamirez

Associated Press contributed.