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Posted on Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 5:25 p.m.

Police release name of teenager killed by police after lunging at officers with a knife

By Kyle Feldscher


The truck Gabriel Stevenson drove before crashing into a home on Dixboro Road was towed Tuesday morning. Stevenson was killed by Michigan State Police.

John Counts |

Northville Township police have released the name of the man shot and killed by a Michigan State Police trooper early Tuesday morning.

Police said Gabriel Vernon Stevenson, an 18-year-old from Ypsilanti, was shot when he lunged at police with a knife after a chase Tuesday morning.

John Werth, director of the Northville Township Department of Public Safety, released a statement Tuesday afternoon identifying Stevenson. Michigan State Police originally said a 20-year-old man was killed in the Tuesday morning incident.

Police shot Stevenson after he crashed the pickup truck he was driving into a home at Six Mile and Dixboro roads in rural Northfield Township in Livingston County.

“The suspect exited the vehicle and attempted to enter the home (by) breaking a window,” Werth said in the release. “The suspect was confronted by Northville Township, Michigan State Police and other agencies. The suspect advanced toward and lunged at officers with a knife and was fatally shot.”

More coverage

Read more on the shooting of an Ypsilanti man following a police chase

The series of events that ended with Stevenson's death began at 2:05 a.m. when Northville Township officers were called to investigate an unoccupied vehicle on Napier Road north of Six Mile Road, according to the release. Eighteen minutes later, an explosion was reported in the same area. Officers responding to that call saw the vehicle leaving the area.

Officers conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle on Six Mile Road, and Stevenson, who was driving, fired shots at police before fleeing west on Six Mile in the truck, according to the release. Eventually, Stevenson lost control of the car and crashed into the home in the 7900 block of Dixboro Road, where Six Mile takes a jog to the north before continuing on west.

Stevenson attempted to break into the home by breaking a window, but was confronted by Northville Township, Michigan State Police and other police personnel. Police said he advanced toward officers and lunged with a knife.

A Michigan State Police trooper fired one shot and killed Stevenson. The trooper was authorized to use deadly force, but has been put on administrative leave as a part of the investigation.

At this point, it’s not clear if Stevenson fled from police because of possible involvement in the explosion or another reason. A search of the Offender Tracking Information System did not turn up any results for his name and it’s unknown if he was facing any pending charges.

Michigan State Police Lt. Joel Allen told earlier on Tuesday police had been sent to the area of the explosion to investigate a house fire. Allen said there had been arsons or attempted arsons in the area.

News reports that originally reported a car bombing in the area were incorrect, Allen said.

A .22-caliber revolver was found in Stevenson’s truck, Allen said.

Annette Kovala and Kevin McGraw were sleeping in the bedroom of the home when Stevenson’s truck crashed into it. Kovala told she looked out the window and saw a pickup truck right next to the bed. Kovala and McGraw were not injured.

A representative from the Northville Township police said Werth was not available for further comment Tuesday afternoon.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Thu, May 9, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

Why make it sound like this just happened this past Tuesday when in fact it was a couple of months ago.

Kyle Feldscher

Thu, May 9, 2013 : 1:41 p.m.

Oldtimer3 - I'm not sure how you came across this story, but it is from our archives and was published back on Feb. 12. You can find the date at the top of all our stories underneath the headline. It's AP Style to write stories using the proper name of the day an incident happened if it occurred within a week of the date of publishing. At the time this story published, that was the case.


Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 12:56 a.m.

My posts keep getting removed, I guess because I'm not part of the liberal agenda. Saabar please bring more to the table in your reply to me about the streets are not out of control....simply posting "this is not true" is very weak, do some homework and provide some facts that I'm wrong so I can educate you a little bit on this subject. It's not your fault that you just crawled out from underneath a rock.

Lily M

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 10:35 p.m.

He went to Huron High School, he lived in Ann Arbor...

Milton Shift

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:45 p.m.

Several things to say here. One, my condolences to the family. No parent should have to lay their child to rest - I can't even imagine what it is like to be in their shoes right now. I hope they are getting the support they need. Two, I wonder why stun guns were not used first, but I'm no armchair quarterback - I know if I was 10ft from someone charging me with a hunting knife, I would be reaching for the best weapon I had. Three, I hope the officer who pulled the trigger is getting the support he needs. Killing can be very traumatic (as some friends in the army have had to deal with) and the time off and emotional support or counseling offered to any officer in this situation would surely be greatly appreciated, and pay in dividends for all of us. A traumatized, jaded cop is not the kind of cop we want patrolling the streets.

Basic Bob

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 10:46 a.m.

Mr. Stevenson graduated from Ann Arbor Huron HS in 2012.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 9:04 a.m.

Cinnabar7071 please tell me your post was a joke and not a serious question....


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 7:04 a.m.

Why is it that so many people are supporting this guy and doubting the police? The streets are out of control with violence and when the police do the right thing they get crucified for it, makes me sick. High speed chase, attempted to break in a house and came at the police with a knife even after less than lethal force was was a justified action. Thug life and thug mentality caused this. Look at our violent crime statistics in this country, its crazy! People have no fear of our legal system at all, they get "street cred" for things like this. Let our men & women in uniform do the job they were trained to do so they can go home safe to their families. And don't start with the whole police abusing power thing, people bring this on themselves.

Stuart Brown

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 3:34 a.m.

"Why is it that so many people are supporting this guy and doubting the police?" Because police testilie all the time. Bet you forgot that Officer Fuhrman (OJ Simpson case) planted DNA evidence at OJ's house to make the case that OJ was the killer. This is the evidence that got OJ acquitted. If you think OJ is guilty, blame the testilying cops for botching the case by manufacturing bogus evidence and being called on it, leaving the jury no choice but to acquit.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.

"Why is it that so many people are supporting this guy and doubting the police?" Good question realist. Makes me wonder why, when the media publishes information that keeps changing, that people don't question the media first.

Jon Saalberg

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 4:23 p.m.

" The streets are out of control with violence..." This is not true.

Ron Smith

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 4:18 p.m.

Realist, I read the comments less as "supporting this guy", and more a wishful desire that he could have been stopped without lethal force. In our free society, we put a lot of restrictions on our law enforcement, certainly more than is common in other countries. I respect and support them. Unfortunately, their actions (even if completely vindicated as I suspect this one will be) will always be scrutinized, and they know it. Amazingly, they still want to do the job. Respectfully,

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:13 p.m.

Whoops... I did the same thing.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:12 p.m.

I didn't say, "liberal media."


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

Unusual Suspect After posting mine, I re-read your post. The first time I read MEDIA but I see it was AREA. My apologies. I retract my prior comment, as in proper context it is without merit.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:22 p.m.

Realist I suppose it might be because the story seems to change with every telling. That might lead some people to believe that it is being made up as it goes along. Also, I disagree with the statement in its entirety - you can question specific actions by the police without being on the criminals 'side'. I have yet to read anything that says the criminal was in the right. And I bet I won't see that on here. It is ridiculous to suggest that people are taking the criminal's 'side'. Barry Please take your entitlement rant elsewhere. This is a very specific incident and broad generalizations about unrelated things add nothing. Unusual Suspect What the heck does the liberal media have to do with the comments? Are you implying that is writing the comments themselves?

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

Being a strong liberal area, there is a strong desire to blame anybody except the actual criminal. That includes - especially, for some people - the police.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 7:02 a.m.

It is extremely sad to see a young man of this age become troubled and pay the ultimate price for it. My condolences to his family. I'm so sorry for your loss.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 4:30 a.m.

I wonder where an 18 y/o got a handgun. Anybody?


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:21 p.m.

lol not sure what the confusion is with an 18 year old having a gun...


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:09 p.m.

Sunglasses salesman?

Barry Soetoro

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 7:01 a.m.

At a merchant? Where does an 18 y/o buy a pack of cigarettes? What is your point? So if he would have just ran over the cops, would your comment read, "I wonder where an 18 y/o got a Ford Ranger. Anybody?".


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 6:51 a.m.

Either stole it or bought it from a "law-abiding" gun owner. Guns don't create themselves.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:55 a.m.

Eric Holder.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:57 a.m.

Powder Burns? Do you mean Gunshot Residue? Big difference. If as reported this guy fired at officers, it would take less lethal alternatives off the table on every force continuum that I am aware of. this does not appear to have been a static situation where the guy's movement was restricted. There were civilians that were in jeopardy. As soon as the suspect produced a knife within a 25 foot radius of the officers, he was a legitimate threat to their safety. They had every right to take the action they did. If as another person reported, that the officers attempted to deploy less lethal muntions to end the offenders actions, they went well beyond the expectations of the force continuum.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:42 p.m.

Or, just as we expect from them, we don't assume illegal activity without some reason to do so.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.

Some people have an unusually strong - call it slavish - trust of the word of law enforcement - as if LEOs have absolutely no reason to concoct evidence or skew reports to a certain end.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:54 a.m.

Agree. If the guy got into the house it could have become a very ugly hostage situation and/or a situation where all of a sudden the perp would have protection (the house) and the troopers would have been out in the open.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:42 a.m.

As an aside, I'd like to learn if the .22 caliber pistol found in the car was recently discharged, and if there were powder burns on the dead man's hand. Humor us.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:39 a.m.

Great job Northville Twp. Officers and Michigan State Police. Please put him back on the job ASAP. We need him and more on the streets everyday.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:41 p.m.

No, please don't put him back on the streets ASAP. Even if he did everything right, which it seems he did, killing someone is a hell of a lot of psychological baggage. We don't need someone with PTSD on routine traffic stops. Complete the investigation and get the officer screened first.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:31 a.m.

An 18 year old can kill you just as easily as a 20 year old. Too bad the cops did not have time to check his ID before shooting.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:21 a.m.

Well ACDC, if Stevenson surrendered the first time the cops told him to show his hands and submit to a lawful arrest, he would still be alive to talk about it. He sealed his own fate this morning.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 7:02 p.m.

Spoken from someone on welfare.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 7:17 p.m.

Baahaa goes the sheep. Keep your paycheck, the dollar is worthless anyways.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:50 a.m.

Ann Arbor is not LA. The Michigan State Police are some of the best trained officers in the country. I will bet my next paycheck the officer's actions in this incident will be ruled justified by any review board and the prosecutor's office.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:35 a.m.

Tell that to the innocent people that have been shot at and by LAPD in the past week. Not every cop is a good cop and not every cop is a bad cop.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:29 a.m.

Billy's got a gun, he's on the run Confusion in his mind, the blind leads the blind


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:17 a.m.

He lunged at police with a knife and they take it upon themselves not to safely subdue the young man but to fatally shoot him...? In this article at least, it states that his gun was in the truck..Im just confused as to why they needed to shoot him. God bless the family, all those effected, and his soul in this sad fatality


Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 3:48 a.m.

Lunging...with a knife..theres a reason there is a saying "Dont bring a knife to a gun fight" The young boy was more than likely frightened as opposed to "trying to kill a cop" No one with good sense attacks someone let alone multiple people with a knife when the other person has a knife.


Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 2:01 a.m.

Rcdc please read the news story again, or if need be have somebody read it to you with a step by step illustration using stick figures.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:19 p.m.

Officers are trained to shoot to kill, one might think that knowing this they would not lunge at an officer with a weapon of any kind for fear of being killed. If you are trying to attack a police officer you take the risk of being killed.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:51 a.m.

RCDC, how exactly does one do that? Keep in mind the perp had already shown his willingness to kill the police officers.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:32 a.m.

Because knives can kill you too


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:50 p.m.

I'm confused by "authorized to used deadly force." When would a police officer not be authorized to use deadly force? I would understand the circumstance where deadly force was clearly not warranted. But now I confuse myself with terms. Not trying to be a naysayer, I'm sincerely interested.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:36 a.m.

Thanks for the answer. Wouldnt justified and authorized be different? Perhaps I'm splitting hairs but justified implies a reason to do so, while authorized suggests permission has been given by someone else. I just don't understand when a police officer wouldn't be authorized to justifiably use deadly force.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:23 a.m.

In a nutshell, an officer is justified in using deadly force if he feels his life or someone's else's life is in danger.

Ann English

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:50 p.m.

Kyle, Northfield Township is in Washtenaw County; due north of it, is Green Oak Township of Livingston County. Eight Mile, not Six Mile, Road separates Washtenaw County from Livingston County. Whitmore Lake straddles the two townships and counties. I mean the lake itself, not the hamlet. Directly north of Salem Township is Oakland County, but of course that doesn't have a place in this news story.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:35 p.m.

The fact is does not know where they are they seem to think Ann Arbor is all of Washtenaw County


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:17 p.m.

Ann English always provides the dumb comment nobody was worried about.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 11:49 a.m.

Barry, I can assure you that the MSP is deeply involved in the investigation since it was a Trooper who shot the suspect. Simply because the Northville Twp. PD issues a press release does not mean MSP is not doing any "work". As for your question about the Salem Twp. PD, that agency does not exist. MSP has statewide police authority and has provided full police service to all communities in Michigan for over 95 years. There is an MSP detachment in Salem.

Barry Soetoro

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 7:02 a.m.

Wait a moment. The State Police shot this man. Why aren't the State Police doing the work? In fact, all of the media reports "Salem Township". Where were the Salem Township police or Sheriff? What kind of mixed up mess is this?


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:11 a.m.

Kyle, I believe Ann E. was trying to clarify the county error. The story says "Six Mile and Dixboro in Livingston County", that's not Livingston County.

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:15 a.m.

Not sure I understand your point, Ann. The Northville Township police handled this case. The press release I received came from them. I spoke with a representative of the director after calling their office. Feel free to check out Werth's position in Northville Township on your own but I can assure you that this is the correct police agency.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:11 p.m.

"Stevenson attempted to break into the home by breaking a window, but was confronted by Northville Township, Michigan State Police and other police personnel. Police said he advanced toward officers and lunged with a knife." The above appears to contradict the account given by the male resident of the house, quoted in the related story titled, "Fugitive crashes into couples' house..." In that article, the resident of the house says he looked out the window after hearing the crash and saw the guy limping away.

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:35 p.m.

Solitude - At this point, we've received differing accounts, it's true. I tried to clarify some of these discrepancies with Werth this afternoon but he was unavailable. This is the latest information we have with the most detail from police.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:34 p.m.

I noted that as well. Then the man had time to get his clothes on and go outside.....


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:08 p.m.

So pointing out the needlessly inflammatory use of the word "teenager"in the title of this article, even though the article calls him "man" in the 1st paragraph, violates the conversation guidelines somehow now?


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:16 p.m.

I saw that happen earlier today where a post popped into existence between two others.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:09 p.m.

Oops! Guess not. It's the case of the disappearing/reappearing posts.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:07 p.m.

Someone had asked earlier about less-than-lethal alternatives. A report just on TV said that they had shot him four times with beanbag rounds before employing lethal force. What a waste.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:16 p.m.

As in the 4 beanbags was not enough to stop him? This kid must have been on bath salts to not go down after that.

Peter Baker

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:51 a.m.

Good to know.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:43 a.m.

Of beanbags, for sure.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:03 p.m.

I can only assume the word "teenager" is used in the headline of this article for shock-value and inflammatory reasons, especially since the word "suspect" was used in all the headlines of the other articles, and the word "man" is used to describe him in the first paragraph of this article.

Blue Marker

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:39 p.m.

Don't make me quote Alice Cooper.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

A person can be both a teenager and a man


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:50 p.m.

The point is a valid one. Note the age of the "man" in this article's headline: A teenager is a teenager and a man is a man. A person's actions, however vile, should not dictate the terminology.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:44 a.m.

"Well, the word teenager is used because he's a teenager." Hey, you work for Only us commenters are allowed to be that snarky.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:43 a.m.

"Teenager with a knife, gun and possibly a bomb" would be accurate.

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:31 p.m.

Well, the word teenager is used because he's a teenager.

Ann Dwyer

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:07 p.m.

It was first reported that he was 20. I think it's a way to clarify the story.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 10:53 p.m.

"At this point, it's not clear if Stevenson fled from police because of possible involvement in the explosion or another reason. A search of the Offender Tracking Information System did not turn up any results for his name and it's unknown if he was facing any pending charges." Most people would be stunned by the number of people who choose to commit felonies to avoid arrests, and even tickets, for very minor things such as traffic warrants, possession of small amounts of drugs, etc. I've even seen many people commit major felonies in situations where an officer was just going to give them a warning for something. It's incredible, and it defies logic or explanation. As more information about this guy is released, I will be interested to learn if this applies to this guy.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 4:34 p.m.

I think there is quite a bit to what you are saying. When I think back to my teen years, things that were considered "minor" violations of existing law and convention (not that that's what occurred in this case, obviously) where not treated like the end of the world, the way everything seems to be now. Even "running" from the police wasn't the end of your life as a "decent" kid, or the end of all your adult opportunity. The scorched earth, absolutist and sensationalist atmosphere we seem to have created, in lots of cases for nothing more than entertainment value, does younger people coming up a disservice.

Milton Shift

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

It really is tragic, and it's a natural result of trying too hard to scare kids away from breaking the law. We need more moderation in our tone.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 10:42 p.m.

This story keeps changing. I imagine we will never know the whole story though. It's sad that this boy died so young.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:24 p.m.

it is sad, sad that this idiot tried to shot and stab a police officer. sad that he tried to break into a home. if it were your house he was breaking into i bet you would feel different about it.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:26 p.m.

@Paul, sorry I misread the headline thinking that "man" was properly used, not "teenager." I will look before I leap next time.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:22 p.m.

@Paul, he was "man" enough to have a gun with him and shoot at police so I see nothing wrong with the description.

Barry Soetoro

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 7:14 a.m.

The story will change a lot more as they gather more information. Consider it a developing story.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:25 a.m.

Man shot by police, sounds better then Teenager shot by police

Homeland Conspiracy

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:12 p.m.

So EightySeven could you tell me more about what happened, seeing that you were there & all


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:08 p.m.

If he didn't shoot at the police or lunged at them with a knife chances are he would still be alive. His actions lead to him being shot and killed.