Two shot dead in 'killing spree'
Sheriff Bouchard provides a timeline of police response to an 'active shooter situation' involving a tractor trailer an AK-47 and multiple shootings, starting in Taylor and ending with two people dead. Max Ortiz, The Detroit News
Pontiac – A gunman with an AK-47-style assault rifle and more than 200 rounds of ammunition fatally shot people in Taylor and Pontiac and then was wounded himself and arrested about noon Thursday following two shootouts with police in Waterford Township.
At a press conference, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said the shooter, identified only as a 45-year-old Sterling Heights man, appeared to have a “hit list in his mind” and was on a “planned killing spree.”
“There were a couple tragedies today but there could have been many more,” said Bouchard. “He appeared to know exactly where he was going at each location and I suspect he was not done. Who knows where he may have been headed to next?”
Police said the spree of violence began about 10:30 a.m. in Taylor when the suspect, an ex-worker at BSD Linehaul Inc., entered his former workplace on Pennsylvania Road near Telegraph intending to target one of the employees, police said.
Taylor police found one man dead of a gunshot wound and the suspect on the run after he allegedly stole a white 2016 semi-trailer cab.
The suspect then drove to Aluminum Blanking on West Sheffield in Pontiac, arriving at 11:37 a.m. Eriverto Perez, 58, was shot multiple times in the back as he was sitting at a desk, Bouchard said.
The suspect then left the building, passing up other workers whom he did not threaten or attack.
About 12:30 p.m., the suspect drove to nearby Waterford Township, where he entered the Assure Trucking business off Dixie Highway and asked the whereabouts of one of the workers.
When he could not find the person, he left and the business notified police and locked down, Bouchard said.
The suspect allegedly fired at a police car near Dixie Highway and Frembes Road and sideswiped a vehicle, knocking it on its side. Bouchard said the two women inside suffered only minor injuries.
Johnny Lewis, 33, of Waterford said he was driving home after visiting a Secretary of State’s Office when he spotted the overturned vehicle off Frembes.
“All of a sudden cops started arriving, one car after another, the first one pulling what looked like an M-16 out of his car,” said Lewis.
“I thought ‘Oh, boy, this is something more than just an accident.’”
Lewis said the officers took off on foot and were about 100 yards away on Frembes where he heard a series of gunshots.
“It was pretty quick, at least 10, maybe 15 shots fired,” Lewis said.
During the exchange, the suspect was wounded, Bouchard said.
He was disarmed and taken into custody. Several 30-round magazines for the rifle were found inside the vehicle, which Bouchard said indicated to him that the suspect “was not through.”
The suspect was treated at a hospital. He is expected to face charges.
Bouchard said the suspect was out on bond after a weapons offense in Taylor in December.
Bouchard credited police agencies and dispatchers from Taylor, Waterford Township, Auburn Hills and his office for helping officers track the suspect.