You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Dec 15, 2009 : 6 a.m.

Pittsfield Township police say evidence of self-defense is mounting in shooting

By Amalie Nash

Moments before he was fatally shot, police say Michael Robert Rajchel showed the handgun tucked into his pants.

Adham Mofiid Abu Farha, 34, then fired multiple shots as the two men sat inside Farha's car in the driveway of his Pittsfield Township home the morning of Dec. 2, according to police.

As investigators continue to seek a motive in the fatal shooting, they say evidence of Farha's self-defense assertion continues to mount.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for SHOOTING-ROCKPORT-120209.JPG

The shooting took place outside this home on Rockport Court on Dec. 2.

"We've interviewed additional witnesses and got additional information that affirms Farha's self-defense assertion," Pittsfield Public Safety Director Matt Harshberger said.

Police are awaiting autopsy and toxicology results before resubmitting the case to prosecutors to decide whether to file any criminal charges against Farha. He was arrested the morning of the shooting and then was released two days later while police continued to investigate.

Harshberger said Farha and Rajchel had a business relationship involving automobiles, but declined to elaborate. He said the motive of the shooting remains unclear.

Around 8:30 a.m. Dec. 2, Rajchel showed up at Farha’s home at 2361 Rockport Court in the Arbor Creek subdivision on the township’s northwest side. A witness told the two men shook hands.

They got into Farha's SUV, and multiple shots were fired as about 20 elementary students were waiting at a school bus stop across the street.

Farha had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, police said. He had his handgun tucked into his waistband when officers arrived at the scene, police said.

Harshberger said Rajchel showed Farha his gun before the shooting, but declined to elaborate or discuss what Farha told police. He also declined to say what the other witnesses told detectives.

Farha could not be reached by

Prosecutors have previously said they will not decide whether to file criminal charges until additional reports are submitted.



Sun, Jan 24, 2010 : 5:11 p.m.

I still find the lack of information about the victim disturbing. What was is history? Was he in trouble before? Other than his city of residence there are no details to be had. It just seems very strange that there is so little information about what these two were up to on that morning, and Ann seems plenty pleased to just wait for Police statements and not do any reporting of it's own.


Wed, Dec 30, 2009 : 8:14 a.m.

Are there any more updates on this story? It seems strange that a murder would happen with so little details being shared with the public, or at least, reported


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 11:51 a.m.

Before anyone says " shoot to kill" you don't,you shoot to " stop the threat " unfourtunaly results may vary


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 10:26 a.m.

@ djm12652 IIRC, several of the previous articles on this subject had indicated the deceased had not fired his weapon. And agreed with Merkava. This is real life not reel life. In the movies the "good" guys let the "bad" guys shoot first or there are stand offs with both parties pointing guns at each other's heads while having a conversation. No military, police or as in this case CPL holder allows themselves to be under the gun in this matter. We don't initiate the attacks but once threatened, we are trained to stop the threat. We don't shoot guns out of people's hands, shoot to wound, or threaten with our weapons.


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 3:17 a.m.

"If the victim showed the shooter his weapon, has there been any information released whether the victim fired his weapon?" Are you implying he should have waited? The law states that you can use lethal force if you are in mortal fear of your life. It seems as if he had good reason to be in fear of losing his life and acted accordingly. I doubt the assailant had a CPL (Concealed Pistol License) and even if he did, he illegally brandished his weapon (threatening display of a firearm). I'm sorry but if you do things like that, you are asking to get shot by someone who knows how to use a firearm and knows the law.


Tue, Dec 15, 2009 : 10:04 p.m.

If the victim showed the shooter his weapon, has there been any information released whether the victim fired his weapon?


Tue, Dec 15, 2009 : 12:29 p.m.

I believe they are referencing the motive of the deceased for the attack.

Bob Dively

Tue, Dec 15, 2009 : 11:07 a.m.

He said the motive of the shooting remains unclear. Huh? Isn't the point of the story that the motive appears to be self-defense?