Oakland County deputies kill man they say fatally shot father-in-law, wounded wife, mother-in-law

George Hunter
The Detroit News

Highland Township — Deputies who were responding to an 8-year-old girl's 911 call Wednesday morning raced into a condo upon hearing gunfire and fatally shot a gunman while he was assaulting his wife, moments after he had reportedly killed his father-in-law and wounded his mother-in-law, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said.

During a livestreamed press conference, Bouchard said that the girl had placed a "very disjointed" 911 call at 8:33 a.m. to report shots fired in a unit in the Glens of Highlands condominiums on Delmar Ct. near the Prestwick Village Golf Club. Deputies arrived 4 minutes later, Bouchard said.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard speaks at a press conference Wednesday, March 22, 2023 about the police killing of a suspect who had reportedly killed his father-in-law, shot his mother-in-law and assaulted his wife.

The couple's children, ages 4 and 1, were inside their maternal grandparents' condo during the shooting, along with an 8-year-old cousin — the girl who placed the 911 call — the sheriff said.

Although he didn't identify those involved in the incident, Bouchard said the suspect was a 42-year-old man from Dearborn Heights, his wife is 37, his father-in-law was 69 and his mother-in-law 70. Bouchard said he was withholding the suspect's name because it's the same surname as the children.

The suspect's wife and mother-in-law are being treated in an area hospital "for wounds that are not believed to be life threatening," according to an Oakland County Sheriff's press release.

The suspect's wife had sought a divorce following multiple runs to the couple's Dearborn Heights home involving family trouble, Bouchard said. About two weeks ago, the woman reported that her handgun was stolen — which was one of the pistols the suspect brought to the scene, Bouchard said.

"When the individual first arrived, it's clear he came there with murderous intent," Bouchard said. "He parked on a different street, came through backyards and he had purchased gloves."

The man broke into his in-laws' condo by smashing a plate glass window with a crow bar, the sheriff said.

"Right by the plate glass window he smashed, the mother-in-law and father-in-law, and the 1-year-old baby in the arms of the mother, were on the couch in that room, 10 feet from that window," Bouchard said. "Panic ensued."

The suspect's father-in-law dashed toward his bedroom. "It appears he was headed to get a weapon to defend himself and his family," Bouchard said. "The perpetrator pursued him into the bedroom and shot him dead. The mother-in-law of the perpetrator was also shot in that bedroom."

The man's wife went upstairs, "and to her credit, she struggled with him," Bouchard said. "A tussle ensued, and during the tussle a round was discharged, and she was shot."

Bouchard said a second round may have also been fired while the married couple struggled. Deputies had just arrived at the condo and were escorting the children outside when they heard the gunfire, Bouchard said.

"When deputies hear the gunshots, they started up the stairs," Bouchard said. He said the suspect was "at that moment on top of his wife, striking her."

The man left the upstairs bedroom and stood on a stairwell balcony, where the deputies ordered him to drop his gun, Bouchard said.

"He refused their orders, and was engaged," the sheriff said, adding that one deputy fired 4 shots and the other 2 shots.

"Where those went and how many times the suspect was shot is a work in progress," Bouchard said.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Internal Affairs Division is investigating the incident, the sheriff said.

The suspect had criminal convictions from 1999, including felonious assault and drug convictions, Bouchard said.

"He was a felon and not allowed to own or carry a firearm, but none of that mattered to him, given his murderous intent," Bouchard said.

The sheriff praised his deputies' work.

"They heard the gunshots, they heard the screams, and they immediately went in," Bouchard said. "They did an amazing job."


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Twitter: @GeorgeHunter_DN