Conflict with lawn worker led to 9-hour standoff in Superior Twp.

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Superior Township — Authorities are investigating after a gunman shot a sheriff's deputy, barricade himself in a condo and was found dead after a nine-hour standoff with police Wednesday.

The incident began at 2:11 p.m when deputies from Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office responded to investigate a felonious assault complaint in the 8000 block of Lakeview Court in the Oakbrook neighborhood.

Michigan State Police's preliminary investigation indicated that Nathan Kurt Hardenburg, 50, who lives in the condominium complex, got into a verbal argument with a lawn maintenance worker. During some point in the argument, the man fired shots at the worker.

Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the scene and when they arrived, Hardenburg allegedly fired multiple shots at the deputies, striking one of them, state police said.

The deputy has been released from the hospital after treatment for the gunshot injury.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the scene as Hardenburg continued to shoot from his residence, police said.

Hardenburg barricaded himself for hours. Police said after they were unable to make contact, law enforcement forced entry into the condo and found Hardenburg dead.

The cause of death remains under investigation, MSP said. The names of involved law enforcement officers are not being released at this time.

"We don’t know how he was deceased, but it’s a loss of a human life, and that for us is distressing," Sheriff Jerry Clayton said.

The Detroit News spoke with a lawn maintenance worker who was an eyewitness to the incident. The worker said Hardenburg was staring outside the bedroom window of his condo at the workers as they were cutting the grass. When a worker approached him to see if everything was alright, Hardenburg grabbed his gun.

Federal, state, county and local law enforcement officers investigate an active shooter scene where a Washtenaw Co. deputy was shot and is in stable condition on Lakeview Ct. in Superior Twp., northwest of Willow Run Airport, Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2020. According to an eye witness, who wants to remain anonymous, the shooter fired at least 30 rounds at police and at a clubhouse in the area of condominiums.

When police arrived, the eyewitness said the deputy exited his car, was walking towards them when he was struck twice by the gunman. They took cover while another deputy dragged the officer behind the vehicle. The workers did not want to be named but were seen with police at the time of the incident.

For residents, it was a day that had no parallel in their neighborhood.

“I’ve lived here for 30 years and nothing like this has ever happened,” said Jennifer Roquemore, who lives in a condo on Lakeview Court near the alleged gunman and couldn’t get home Wednesday because the street was blocked off.

The neighborhood, which featured Movies in the Park on a giant screen at nearby Oakbrook Park on Berkshire in August, is nestled among homes and other condos, where residents go walking or biking for exercise.

“It’s a beautiful place. We live across a large field with deer and it’s very calm. I have no idea what could have happened,” Roquemore said.

Twitter: @SarahRahal_