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Posted on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 12:58 p.m.

Man who shot himself after traffic stop Saturday dies

By Kyle Feldscher

This story has been updated with information on the man's death.

The 31-year-old Ypsilanti Township man who shot himself on the front porch of an Ypsilanti Township home died late Sunday night after being declared brain dead, according to sheriff's office officials.

Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derrick Jackson said the man died late Sunday night at St. Joseph Hospital in Superior Township. The man shot himself after running from police following a traffic stop early Saturday morning.

The man was a passenger in a car stopped by deputies during the early morning hours at Ecorse Road and Hayes Street. The car had tape covering up part of the license plate, Jackson said.

Once the vehicle stopped, the man immediately got out and took off on foot. Jackson said one deputy put the driver in custody while the other deputy pursued the man.

“We’re not sure why he ran,” Jackson said.

The man eventually stopped at a home in the 400 block of Woodlawn Avenue. Both deputies arrived at the home at about the same time, Jackson said.

At this point, the man took out a gun and put it to his head. Jackson said the deputies retreated and began trying to talk to the man in an attempt to get him to put down the gun. One deputy talked to him while the other went to the side door of the home in order to get the residents to leave, Jackson said.

While the family was leaving the home, the man pulled the trigger and fired a single shot into his head, Jackson said. The deputies provided assistance until Huron Valley Ambulance crews arrived on scene and took the man to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ypsilanti.

“This all was a matter of about seven minutes from traffic stop to when he shot himself,” Jackson said.

Jackson said the car the man was in was not reported stolen and deputies did not immediately believe there were any laws being broken other than the purposeful obscuring of the license plate. The man has a history of suicidal thoughts, Jackson said.

The investigation into the incident continues, Jackson said. No one else was injured in the incident.

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



Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

POLICE CHASE AND STRESS : I am not happy to read that a Police Officer had chased this individual who was a passenger in a car that was stopped for License Plate verification. The driver of the car and the car were in police custody at the time and there is no justification to chase and actively pursue that individual who made the decision to walk or run away from that scene. At the time of this traffic stop, Police had no justification to chase or stop this individual. If they had discovered that a crime took place, this individual could be discovered at a later time. It was neither urgent, nor sensible to stop or hinder the freedom of movement. The Police action had contributed to a high stress level and the individual had simply failed to cope with the stress imposed upon him. Fight and Flight are the basic responses to stress and people in power have to use discretion.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 4:29 a.m.

So sad.

Ann English

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 1:37 a.m.

Was the license plate stolen? People who steal cars do switch license plates with other cars. The driver of a car with a false license plate risks being mistaken for someone else and having committed someone else's crime. I can see such a person deciding to cover up at least part of such a plate.

music to my ear

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 12:45 a.m.

he was paranoid , so sorry to the family.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 11:52 p.m.

How did Jackson know the guy had a history of suicide thoughts? Last year, the EMU/UM police director killed himself with a gun. Did he have a history of suicide thoughts? There are many people with history of suicide still alive. They have no gun.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 12:31 a.m.

So if all guns are banned tomorrow, the act of suicide will go away?

ms 2013

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.

lord have mercy


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

This is one of those stories that just keeps getting sadder by the day. One can hardly imagine the degree of desperation and hopelessness which leads to suicidal action.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 12:55 a.m.

To live is much more difficult. To the family, please forgive him or her to leave you behind. Please believe, he or she loves you all as much as you love him or her.

Honest Abe

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 6:37 p.m.

Sad Story.

Kyle Feldscher

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 6:35 p.m.

Shortly after this story was published, Derrick Jackson notified me the 31-year-old Ypsilanti Township man died from his injuries. I've updated the story to reflect that information.

Beth Wilson

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

Very sad. The Sheriff's deputies should be commended for their calm and compassionate approach. To When tragedies like this occur we as a community need more than the police report. We need to understand a larger picture so as to prevent in the future, if possible. It would be very helpful to know if this man was already under psychiatric care (albeit ineffective) or if he had not sought out help prior to the situation that ended his life. Can you tell us why you are withholding his name?


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

Thank you Barb, it is no ones business but his families and yes Kyle his family has been notified. He was not some crazy guy with mental issues like everyone is assuming. He was a human being just like the rest of us.

Kyle Feldscher

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 6:33 p.m.

Beth - To this point, that information is not available. It's still very early on and deputies are still trying to figure out why he ran from them, let alone his past psychiatric history. At this point, I have not published his name because I do not have confirmation his family has been notified.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 6:30 p.m.

Helpful to whom? This is private info that is no one's business but their own and their family's.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 6:22 p.m.

"The man has a history of suicidal thoughts, Jackson said." that explains a lot. Prayers to family and friends of the deceased.