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Posted on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:17 a.m.

U.S.-23 shooter: Multiple shots fired, no injuries and some help from the snow

By Paula Gardner

Pittsfield Township police are still looking for answers to why a 28-year-old man fired at multiple cars on U.S.-23 early Wednesday, but one thing is clear.

The winter storm that dumped heavy snow all over Ann Arbor starting Tuesday afternoon played a role in the quick arrest.

"It's not often that we have inclement weather help us out," said Deputy Police Chief Gordy Schick.

The incident unfolded shortly after midnight, Schick said. Township officers were extremely busy due to the storm, which was affecting roads and prompting multiple security alarms.

By about 12:15 a.m., motorists were calling 911 about a gunman aiming at the highway from an area near Michigan Avenue. The location is just west of Carpenter Road and that business district. That area's lighting helped to illuminate the scene.

"They said there was a man dressed all in black, including a black trench coat, shooting at vehicles," Schick said.

Officers rushed to the area, and closed Michigan Avenue to traffic while they looked for the suspect.

They found the 28-year-old man walking westbound from the area. Schick said he was taken into custody at gunpoint.

Township police, who were joined by Michigan State Police, searched the scene as they determined that the man did not have an accomplice.

During that search, they followed the man's footprints in the fresh snow, and found his weapon: A sawed-off shotgun.

"The officers did an outstanding job working against the weather conditions," Schick said.

Investigators said the suspect is a 28-year-old Ypsilanti man, despite initial reports that he was from Wisconsin.

They were still seeking more details Wednesday, Schick said, and likely will have the report ready for the prosecutor to file charges on Thursday.

So far, Schick said, officers have no motive for the shooting. They did find some suspected marijuana, he said, as well as alcohol near the shooting scene.

The weather added to many difficulties for police overnight and into this morning, even as the snow helped police pull the case together.

However, Schick said, it also could have worked against the motorists.

"I'm not sure of the speeds (on the highway) last night," Schick said. "He may have had some slow targets, so we're very fortunate that no one was hurt."

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Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 4:21 a.m.

They have a lot of different safty devises on car's now day's, I guess bulletproof glass is next. What a shame!!!!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 10:14 p.m.

Unbelievable. Standing and shooting at motorists on 23. More and more random crime, folks. Need to reinstate the police that were laid off, and stop the funding for public art until more police are hired. Glad this thug was arrested, but let's hope he doesn't end up in Melinda Morris' court and get a slap on the wrist (isn't she retired? yet she still "fills in" for judges on medical leave, let's be done with her!). This is a very dangerous individual.


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 3:24 p.m.

Yeah. Public art. That's the problem. Not enough left for prostitution stings, drug raids, paraquat spraying operations, MIPs and arrests leading to life sentences for public nudity. Not to mention for-hire vehicles committing the crime of picking fares up and charging them for rides.

Basic Bob

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 2:29 a.m.

No police laid off and no public art in Pittsfield.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:54 p.m.

this is not a gun control issue rather a its a mental heath issue...


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 10:52 p.m.

If course. nobody does stupid things anymore. Lets blame it on something like mental health. Rediculous.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 10:14 p.m.

Actually it's both issues.

John Counts

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:27 p.m.

Update: Pittsfield Township Deputy Police Chief Gordy Schick said the case is going to the prosecutor first thing in the morning. No other information will be released until the suspect is formally charged, which could happen tomorrow. "Investigators are actively working the case and we hope to share more details when the defendant is charged," Schick wrote in an email.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:11 p.m.

I'm glad no one was hurt, and that the police were able to apprehend this guy. I just can't believe things like this an instant, so many lives could have been changed forever, had this played out differently. Are there more cray-cray people in society today, or is it just that we are more aware because of the instant news of the internet?


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:54 p.m.

lukly these radom acts sort rare still..

ms 2013

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 6:48 p.m.


Jack Gladney

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 5:53 p.m.

I was wondering what those things coming through my windshield were. I thought they we hail stones or somethin'. Between this and the green space alien lightening (sic), it was quite a night.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:13 p.m.

WOW, we saw the green space (ALIEN) lightning last night, too. It was just after 10 PM, and we had the blinds open to watch the snow. That was the coolest thing I have seen in a long time!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 5:40 p.m.

Was the gun licensed? How and where did he get the gun? What can we do to prevent incidents like this from happening?


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 3:50 a.m.

Any attempts to answer the second two questions?

Reverend Bubba X

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:48 p.m.

The only firearm license law in this state is Concealed Pistol License (CPL). No license law applicable to a sthotgun.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:16 p.m.

How does one get 7 down votes for asking where and how a criminal got a gun?!?!?

John Pollard

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 5:20 p.m.

I don't understand why everyone's so upset...he's just following ole' Joe Biden's instructions to "Get a shot gun! Get a shot gun!"


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 6:10 p.m.

Do you have the context of his comment or are you just repeating what someone told you he said? That would be kind of like a political party basing a convention on a sentence taken totally out of context, then making the taxpayer foot the bill for the convention that "they built".


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 6:14 p.m.

I don't understand why you can't see that same stupid comment already repeated on this board multiple times. No points for originality....NEXT!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 5:10 p.m.

This happened so close to my house! Thank you so much, Pittsfield, for apprehending the suspect and keeping us safe!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 5:08 p.m.

Hey another good reason to legalize marijuana!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 4:30 p.m.

I would suspect the alchohol and NOT the Marijuana

Tom Teague

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 4:12 p.m.

It takes a very special person to go out on a night when the police already have their hands full and then create an additional public safety hazard.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 4:03 p.m.

Glad there are those of you who think this is funny. Deputy Chief Schick was correct in saying it was fortunate no one was hurt. I live in Pittsfield and think our police and firefighters are some of the best. Great job PTPD, especially in the conditions last night.


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 1:44 p.m.

Unless they were being shot at. Then they wouldn't think it was so funny.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:36 p.m.

Hope he gets a good lawyer that can blame it on "mental health issues".

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:13 p.m.

Michigan should be declared a "freeway-shooter-free zone." That will stop this sort of thing from happening.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:06 p.m.

Time to ban ALL SHOTGUNS ! I'll bet the guy got the shotgun from a girl whose Uncle Joe told her it was the best protection she could get.

Tyrone Shoelaces

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:11 p.m.


Tyrone Shoelaces

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:06 p.m.

These nuts always choose busy roads to shoot at. But I guess I can understand that, because there's not much fame in being known as, "The Magnolia Avenue Shooter."


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:01 p.m.

Was the shooter north or south of Michigan Avenue? Also, good work, Pittsfield Police!

Dave Bass

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

Police did a great job. Glad it wasn't a side arm or rifle.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 2:50 p.m.

Lucky that he didn't have a catapult. Straight out of "World of Warcraft" video...


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 2:01 p.m.

Way to go Pittsfield PD! Way to go to the drivers that spotted him and called it in!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

how did they approach without shooting him down?


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 2:49 p.m.

"'Ol Joe told me to fire it in the air ossifer"

Dog Guy

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:53 p.m.

Hiding under lights in snow while totally camouflaged in black and shooting the most inaccurate and short-range gun this side of a cartoon blunderbuss, this guy was short on rationality. Huge thanks to Pittsfield Township police for taking him away.


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 6:02 p.m.

Bidens comment was about home protection, not shooting random people on a highway. See the difference?


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 12:30 a.m.

@bluetonguedlizard: I'm assuming by "assault weapon" you mean the political definition, which means a standard hunting rifle that happens to have a grip like a pistol. Having a weapon that looks more threatening, but is no more dangerous, probably wouldn't have been a factor here.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 5:01 p.m.

@whosgottheballnow, I don't think anyone is laughing about it and I think Biden's point was a shot gun potentially does less damage, I dread to think what the headlines would have been if this deranged person had had an assault weapon...


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:21 p.m.

He must have been taking advice from Joe Biden!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 2 p.m.

And for that we are ALL very very thankful.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:22 p.m.

WOW! Glad everyone was safe and thanks to our police.