Charges pending in I-96 shooting case

2:53 PM, Nov 6, 2012   |    comments
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  • A suspect in the I-96 corridor shootings was taken into custody Monday night during a raid of this Wixom home, Michigan State Police Capt. Monica Yesh said today. Several police agencies came to the home on Monday night to search the home and tow away a car. Eric Seals/Detroit Free Press
  • Traffic congested near the junction of I-96 and U.S.-23, in the area where police searched for the suspected I-96 shooter. (Courtesy: Regina H. Boone/Detroit Free Press)
    

WIXOM, Mich. (Detroit Free Press) - The task force investigating the I-96 corridor shootings said it believes the 43-year-old suspect in custody is their man, officials said. "The public can breath a heavy sigh of relief today," said Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth, a member of the task force. "It is my belief we have the person responsible. I'm confident we have the guy."

A 43-year-old suspect, who is being held at the Wixom Police Department, will likely be charged Wedesday, Wriggelsworth said.

The man was taken into custody Monday night during a raid of a Wixom home. His car -- which matches the description of the black four-door vehicle believed to have been used in 24 shootings across four counties since Oct. 16 -- was seized, said Michigan State Police Capt. Monica Yesh.

A gun also was seized, said Donald Dawkins, spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Detroit office.

Dawkins said potential charges are expected to be presented today to the U.S. Attorney's Office and to prosecutors from the four counties involved.

Dawkins said officials are deciding which charges to file and in which court. The charges could be filed in a district, circuit or federal court, he said.

The only victim hit by gunfire was driving on I-96 in Livingston County. Scott Arnold, 46, of Delton, near Kalamazoo, was struck in the buttocks on Oct. 27 as he drove on I-96 in Livingston County.

Other victims' vehicles were hit as they were driving along roads in Oakland, Livingston, Shiawassee and Ingham counties.

"It's just an absolute miracle to me that someone else wasn't injured or killed,"said Wriggelsworth.

Wriggelsworth said investigators do not have evidence linking the suspect to all the shootings, but, "It would be one heck of a coincidence if they weren't all related." He said it appears the man acted alone.

A man who lives at the home was outside this afternoon, talking to neighbors.

"Oh, Alice, we're sorry for all the trouble that's going on," the man told the neighbor, who declined to give her last name. Alice said she has known the the man for 10 years.

Alice said her grandson, 20, was stopped and questioned by police as they looked for the shooter recently. She and other neighbors in the quiet court expressed shock over the news that the person of interest was from their neighborhood.

A neighbor named Roger, who also declined to give his last name, said he had a hunch that police were on to something after seeing undercover officers outside his home for two nights.

The neighbors said police blocked streets Monday night and required residents to show identification to get to their homes.

On any given day, 100 local state and federal officers worked on the case, Wriggelsworth said.

The task force includes the Wixom Police Department, Michigan State Police, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office and the Livingston County Sheriff's Office.

The FBI; Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Crime Stoppers offered a $102,000 reward for information about the shooter.

Wriggelsworth said police are still accepting tips on the case.

Detroit Free Press

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