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Man, 43, arrested in hunt for Michigan sniper who fired at random cars in four counties in two-week campaign of terror

Man, 43, arrested in pursuit of Michigan sniper who shot random cars in four counties in two-week terror campaign

  • Suspect arrested in Detroit suburb of Wixom where shootings began
  • Targets in 24 incidents were primarily cars on roads near Interstate 96

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A man has been arrested on suspicion of being a sniper who fired at random cars in four Michigan counties over the course of two weeks.

The 43-year-old suspect was arrested Monday evening in Wixom, the Detroit suburb where the shootings began.

Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth called the attacks, in which one person was injured, “domestic terrorism.”

He said, ‘Why did he do it? I don’t know. I don’t know if we’ll ever know.’

Artist's impression: Police arrested 43-year-old man on suspicion of being the sniper, pictured, who fired at random cars in four Michigan counties over two weeks

Artist’s impression: Police arrested 43-year-old man on suspicion of being the sniper, pictured, who fired at random cars in four Michigan counties over two weeks

Sheriff Wriggelsworth said a tip — one of nearly 3,000 entered — led authorities to the man’s home. He did not want to say what the suspect said to the investigators.

According to the police, the man was driving a car that matched the description of the suspect’s car given by the victim of a shooting. Authorities also seized possible evidence from his home, detectives said.

At least one gun has been seized, said Donald Dawkins, Detroit spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The man had not been charged last night and it was not clear when the charges could be brought.

Local and federal authorities discussed whether the case should go to state or federal court. Sheriff Wriggelsworth said he wanted federal prosecutors to hear the case.

The shootings began on October 16 and stretched from Oakland County west to Ingham County.

The targets in the 24 reported incidents were primarily cars driving on roads near Interstate 96. Only a handful of shootings actually took place on the highway.

Stalking site: The targets in the 24 reported incidents were primarily cars driving on roads near Interstate 96 (pictured)

Stalking site: The targets in the 24 reported incidents were primarily cars driving on roads near Interstate 96 (pictured)

Janice Schumacher, 43, was pumping petrol into Wixom when she learned a suspect was in custody.

“Hope this is the guy,” said the Commerce Township resident who has been using alternate routes in recent weeks to do personal shopping and take her three kids to and from school.

“For weeks I can’t breathe while driving with my kids in the car. It would be a great relief if they finally got hold of this man.’

Before the arrest, there seemed to be little evidence — bullets and bullet fragments embedded in cars, metal casings on roads, a simple black-and-white sketch of the gunman — a man believed to be in his late twenties or early thirties — and vague descriptions of the dark car he was driving.

The crime scene where the shooting took place is 160 kilometers long and runs through suburbs, shopping centers and meadows.

Shootings have occurred during the day, night, weekdays and weekends. According to police, the gunman would drive across the road and shoot at vehicles traveling in the opposite direction. Only one person was injured.

The first reports of shootings caused panic. Wixom schools restricted recess and other activities where students would go outside. Drivers avoided main roads where they could be exposed and stuck on side streets.

But the police have worked hard to keep the peace. In Wixom — where ten 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 that looked like the shooter’s vehicle. A reward of $102,000 was offered.

“I’ve always felt safe here. But this was very shocking,” said Karen Adams, 51, who is a block away from the suspect.


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