Suspect in 2 fatal shootings near MSU in custody

LANSING, Mich. (Lansing State Journal) -- A man who police say was involved in two fatal shootings today was escorted from a duplex in the 1800 block of Coolidge Road at about 3:15 p.m., bringing an hours-long standoff to an end.

Police say the man shot an employee at the Rite Aid drugstore near Frandor Shopping Center in Lansing shortly after 11 a.m., fled on foot and shot another victim on Coolidge Road about 15 minutes later.

Police surrounded the duplex at around noon. A resident of the building's other unit said the man who lives downstairs had been involved in a shouting match with a neighbor Sunday night.

It lasted about two hours. At one point during the argument, the neighbor was heard screaming: "Come over here and shoot me," said Adam Brown, who lives in the upstairs portion of the duplex.

The first shooting, the killing of a 35-year-old man who worked at Rite Aid, happened about 15 minutes earlier, less than 1½ miles away. The man was shot in the face, police said, at about 11:06, a.m. inside the store.

Lansing police Public Information Officer Robert Merritt said the suspect entered the drugstore at 3106 E. Saginaw St. shortly after 11 a.m., and "interacted" in some manner with the employee before the shooting.

At least one witness reported hearing several shots fired after a man went into a "consultation room" with a pharmacist.

Brown and his fianceé, Erin Hussey, were standing in the rain, watching their house, worrying about their dog, Jack, who was still inside.

"He's a brilliant, perfect dog," Brown said. "I've told every cop, 'Bomb the house. Do what you need to do, but get the dog out.'"

Brown said the man who lived on the first floor of the duplex worried him from the start.

"He had what I call 'crazy eyes,' " he said. "I warned her from the first day we pulled in the driveway that he was a dangerous individual."

The man used to fight with his brother, Brown said, arguments that lasted for morning until night. They yelled and slammed doors. Other neighbors called them drunken arguments.

On Sunday night, it was an argument with a neighbor, "screaming at each other for about two hours, every name in the book."

"He was screaming that he was an Iraq veteran," Brown said.

Even after the fight defused, the man was restless, he said, in and out of the house at around 4 a.m., slamming the door every time.

Brown lit a cigarette.

"I just hope my dog's OK," he said.

A spokeswoman for Camp Hill, Pa.-based Rite Aid said the store will be closed until further notice.

"We are extremely saddened by the loss of our team member," spokeswoman Ashley Flower said in an email. "Grief counselors have been made available to our associates and will remain available as long as they are needed. We are fully cooperating and working closely with the authorities regarding this matter."

Police, some with rifles drawn, continue to surround a home in the 1800 block of Coolidge Road. The road between East Saginaw and Lake Lansing is closed. Two armored police vehicles, one from East Lansing and one from Michigan State University, arrived at about 12:50 p.m.

All East Lansing schools were on lockdown for several hours. Lansing's Post Oak school, Fairview School and Pattengill Academy were on lockdown, officials said, but that was lifted at about 12:50 p.m.

A handful of false reports emerged throughout the day, including a reported gunshot at Eastwood Towne Center. The Lansing Township shopping center's office locked down briefly after employees said they heard what was believed to be a gunshot. Township Police Chief Kay Hoffman said reports of a shooting at Eastwood were unfounded.

At about 11:30 a.m., Michigan State University police sent out an alert, mentioning both shootings. No university buildings were ever on lockdown, an official said. An alert was sent out to students and employees who might be near either shooting scene to "secure in place." That has been lifted.


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