Suspect arrested in Mich. shootings
WIXOM, Mich. - A 43-year-old man has been arrested in connection with dozens of shootings across four Michigan counties that mainly targeted moving cars and resulted in at least one injury, authorities announced Tuesday.
A police task force investigating the shootings said the suspect was taken into custody Monday night in Wixom, the Detroit suburb where the shootings began last month.
"The arrest was the result of information derived during the investigation over the past few days," the task force said in a statement.
The suspect is known to have driven a vehicle matching the description provided by one shooting victim, and potential evidence also was seized at his home, the task force said.
Additional information about the man wasn't immediately released, pending review by prosecutors.
A tip - one of close to 3,000 that have come in - led authorities to the man's home, Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth said.
A man who answered the door Tuesday at the home where police discovered the suspect declined to comment and told an Associated Press reporter to leave. Loon Lake Elementary School is a quarter-mile away from that home.
The shootings began Oct. 16 and stretched from Oakland County west to Ingham County. The targets in the 24 reported incidents were mostly cars traveling on roads near Interstate 96. Only a handful of shootings actually occurred on the interstate.
Wriggelsworth declined to disclose what the suspect told investigators.
"Why did he do it? I don't know. I don't know if we'll ever know," said Wriggelsworth, who called the attacks "domestic terrorism." He said he wants federal prosecutors to take the case.
Before the arrest, clues appeared to be few: slugs and bullet fragments embedded in cars, metal casings on roadways, a simple black-and-white sketch of the shooter - a man believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s - and vague descriptions of the dark car he drove.
The crime scene where the shootings took place is 100 miles long and slices through suburbia, shopping malls and farm pastures. Shootings have occurred during the day, at night, on weekdays and at weekends. Police say the shooter drives along roadways and fires at vehicles traveling in the opposite direction. Only one person was wounded.
Initial reports of shootings stirred panic. Wixom schools restricted recess and other activities that would take students outdoors. Drivers avoided main thoroughfares where they might be exposed and stuck to side streets.
But police have been working hard to maintain calm. In Wixom - where 10 shootings have been reported - police had special Halloween patrols to protect trick-or-treaters. From Oakland County, northwest of Detroit, to Shiawassee County, northeast of Lansing, authorities stopped cars resembling the shooter's vehicle. A $102,000 reward was offered.
"I've always felt safe here. But this has been very shocking," said Karen Adams, 51, who lives one street away from the suspect.
When state troopers flooded the area Monday night, she figured it was related to the investigation. Adams stopped her daily walks while the shootings were unsolved.
"There's lots of angry people out there," she said.