Daughter: Walled Lake man fell into conspiracy rabbit hole before shooting family
Walled Lake — A Walled Lake man whose daughter said had been struggling with mental issues after embracing conspiracy theories was fatally shot by police Sunday after he allegedly shot and killed his wife and injured another daughter.
According to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office, police received a “chilling” 911 call at 4:11 a.m. Sunday from a 25-year-old woman who said her father had shot her and killed her mother, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. She was so distraught she could not give an address other than Glenwood Court, authorities said.
Walled Lake police and sheriff’s deputies were talking to a neighbor when they heard a gunshot from the house next door, in the 1200 block of Glenwood Court.
Officers were moving toward the house when Igor Lanis, 53, came out the front door with a shotgun and started shooting at officers, Bouchard said.
The officers returned fire, killing Lanis, Bouchard said. No officers were injured.
When they went into the house, they found Lanis’ daughter trying to crawl out of the house, Bouchard said. She had been shot with a shotgun in the back and legs.
Her 56-year-old mother was dead inside the home, Bouchard said. She had been shot at least four times with a handgun.
Police, who do not know what led to the shooting, did not identify the victims. But the suspect's daughter, Rebecca Lanis, told The Detroit News that they were her mother, Tina Lanis, and sister, Rachel Lanis.
The family dog also was shot multiple times and killed.
Rachel Lanis was in stable condition after suffering “super traumatic injuries” to her back and legs. A neurologist was called in to assess the condition of her legs.
Rebecca Lanis blamed her father's mental health on his recent online interest in extremism and conspiracy theories.
"I think that he was always prone to (mental issues), but it really brought him down when he was reading all those weird things on the internet," Lanis said.
Igor Lanis had no criminal history and there was no record of protective orders, Bouchard said. He apparently had been “more agitated” than normal in the past year.
Rebecca Lanis said after President Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election, her father started falling deeper into "crazy ideas" online, including QAnon conspiracy theories about Trump and vaccines.
"Nobody could talk him out of them," she said.
The Walled Lake family's life used to be "perfect," said Rebecca Lanis, who missed the shooting by "dumb luck" because she was at a friend's house for a birthday.
In a post on the QAnonCasualties subreddit page, Rebecca Lanis said her parents were "extremely loving and happy people" when she was growing up.
"It's really so shocking but it really can happen to anybody," Lanis told The News on Sunday night. "Right-wing extremism is not funny, and people need to watch their relatives and if they have guns, they need to hide them or report them or something because this is out of control."
It was Walled Lake Police Department’s first shooting by an officer in the history of the department, Bouchard said.
“I think there was danger to anybody,” Bouchard said. “He had his keys with him so who knows where he was headed. ...This is terribly sad on so many levels."