Police in Delta Township, Michigan are investigating after a 22-year old concealed carry holder shot and killed a man who was threatening motorists with a gun and firing shots into the air during the morning rush hour. The Eaton County Sheriffs office says calls to 911 came pouring in Monday morning with reports of a man in a black hooded sweatshirt standing in the middle of the busy West Saginaw Highway firing a handgun into the air and pointing the weapon at drivers.
Before sheriff’s deputies could arrive, dispatch advised officers that the suspect was down.
Investigators say a 22-year-old Delta Township man was driving east and stopped near Brookside Drive when the gunman stepped in front of his vehicle. The gunman pointed his handgun at the driver, who stepped out of his vehicle, pulled his own handgun, which he is licensed to carry and shot the gunman.
That man, a 26-year-old who is believed to be from suburban Grand Rapids, died at the scene.
When authorities arrived, they found the 26-year old on the roadway with multiple gunshot wounds. A handgun was found near the suspect.
There are conflicting media accounts about exactly what happened. According to WNLS-TV, the concealed carry holder exited his vehicle before firing at the armed man, but the Lansing State Journal is reporting a slightly different version of events.
The Eaton County Sheriff’s Office had received several reports that the man, 26, had been walking and firing his gun on Saginaw Highway at about 8:25 a.m. Monday, Sheriff Tom Reich said.
A Delta Township man, 22, stopped in the left eastbound lane on Saginaw, just west of Creyts Road. The Grand Rapids-area man walked in front of the vehicle and pointed the handgun at the driver, Reich said.
The driver, who has a concealed pistol license, fired from his vehicle at the man, who died at the scene, Reich said. Police have not released the 26-year-old’s name but said his last known address was in Walker, near Grand Rapids. The man who was killed is Black and the driver is white, police said.
There are still a number of unanswered questions at the moment, starting with the motivation of the attacker who was threatening motorists. Was this someone in the midst of a mental crisis? Some sort of political act of violence? At this point, police have identified the man, though they’ve not yet released his identity publicly.
We also don’t know much about the concealed carry holder, other than the fact that the 22-year old happened to be in the right place at the right time to stop the threat to his life.
According to local radio station WWJ, the Eaton County Sheriff hasn’t said anything about the concealed carry holder facing charges or whether he’s in custody. Based solely on the descriptions from police and what they say eyewitnesses saw, this would appear to be a pretty clear cut case of self-defense, though I can’t help but think that the news media may try to sensationalize this incident to make it more controversial than it appears to be. We’ll keep our eyes on this story and report any updates as they come in.