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