Shooter in deadly Sparta-area road rage incident not called a suspect

SPARTA TOWNSHIP, MICH. - A 43-year-old man admitted to shooting two young brothers during some sort of fight, however, Kent County investigators aren't yet calling him a suspect in the incident.

One man later died from his injuries.

Police responded around 3:20 a.m. Monday, May 22, to the area of M-37 and Sparta Avenue on a report of two people shot and lying on the ground after a road rage incident, according to a Kent County Sheriff's Department news release.

Upon officers' arrival, they found the two wounded men. They're identified as brothers: 20-year-old Donald Dudley and 18-year-old Benjamin Dudley, both from Bailey, Mich, in Muskegon County.

The men were taken to Grand Rapids-area hospitals; Donald Dudley later was pronounced dead, while the 18 year old is reported to be in critical condition. 

Police say Robert Chipman Jr., a 43-year-old Newaygo man, stated he shot the Dudleys during a "physical altercation." Officers at the scene earlier told WZZM 13 it was a possible case of road rage.

Chipman carries a valid Michigan concealed pistol license and is cooperating in the investigation for his alleged involvement in the shooting, the release states.

 “It’s still under investigation but there’s a physical altercation that occurred between three individuals. Two of them were shot and one is obviously the shooter. It was physical, which led up to the shooting,’’ said Kent County Sheriff's Lt. Al Roetman. 

“9-1-1 should have been called prior to this altercation,'' Roetman added. "If we had been called before, some instructions could have been given to all parties involved as far as what they should do to get the police involved prior to becoming physical and/or a deadly situation.’’

A 22-year-old Wyoming woman also was in the car with the Dudleys. She also called 911 to report the shooting and told police she ran when she heard gunshots.

Police expect their investigation to continue when the wounded Benjamin Dudley is able to speak to them. Investigators then will take their case to the Kent County prosecutor, who then could determine what, if any, charges should be filed.

UPDATE: Police corrected the spelling of the alleged shooter's name in a new release, which has been updated in this story.

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