Man, 43, arrested in search of Michigan sniper who shot at random cars in four counties during two-week campaign of terror
- Suspect arrested in Wixom, the Detroit suburb where shootings began
- The targets in 24 incidents were mostly cars on roads near Interstate 96.
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A man has been arrested on suspicion of being the sniper who shot at random cars in four Michigan counties in two weeks.
The suspect, 43, was arrested Monday night 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 you do it? I don’t know. I don’t know if we will ever know.
Artist’s impression: Police arrested the 43-year-old man on suspicion of being the sniper, pictured, who shot at random cars in four Michigan counties in two weeks.
Sheriff Wriggelsworth said a tip, one of nearly 3,000 that have come in, led authorities to the man’s home. He declined to reveal what the suspect told investigators.
Police said the man was driving a vehicle that matched the description of the suspect’s car provided by a shooting victim. Authorities also seized potential evidence at his home, detectives said.
At least one gun was seized, said Donald Dawkins, Detroit spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The man had not been charged as of last night and it was unclear when charges might be filed.
Local and federal authorities were arguing whether the case should be brought to state or federal court. Sheriff Wriggelsworth said he wanted federal prosecutors to take over the case.
The shootings began on October 16 and spread from western Oakland County to Ingham County.
The targets of the 24 reported incidents were mostly cars traveling on roads near Interstate 96. In reality, only a handful of shootings occurred on the interstate.
Stalking Ground: The targets in the 24 reported incidents were mostly cars traveling on roads near Interstate 96 (pictured).
Janice Schumacher, 43, was pumping gas in Wixom when she heard a suspect was in custody.
“I hope this is the right man,” said the Commerce Township resident who for the past few weeks has been using alternate routes to run personal errands and transport her three children to and from school.
‘For weeks, I haven’t been able to breathe while driving with my children in the car. “If they finally caught this guy, it would be a big relief.”
Before the arrest, clues appeared to be few: bullets and bullet fragments embedded in cars, metal casings on roads, a simple black-and-white sketch of the shooter (a man believed to be in his 20s or 30s), and vague descriptions of the dark car he was driving.
The crime scene where the shootings took place is 100 miles long and runs through suburbs, shopping centers and agricultural pastures.
Shootings have occurred during the day, at night, during the week and on weekends. Police say the shooter was driving on the highways and shooting at vehicles traveling in the opposite direction. Only one person was injured.
Initial reports of shootings sparked panic. Wixom schools restricted recess and other activities that would take students outdoors. Drivers avoided main roads where they could be exposed and were stuck on side streets.
But police have been working hard to remain 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 vehicles that resembled the shooter’s vehicle. A reward of $102,000 was offered.
‘I have always felt safe here. But this has been very shocking,” said Karen Adams, 51, who lives one block from the suspect.