22 reports of random shootings on Detroit last week


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Police: 22 reports of random shootings; gunman still at large

4:33 PM, October 22, 2012 |

A police sketch of the suspected gunman still at large in Wixom. / Wixom Police Department
By Tammy Stables Battaglia and L.L. Brasier

Detroit Free Press Staff Writers

There have been 22 reports of shootings at in Oakland, Ingham, Livingston and Shiawassee counties, police announced today.

The incidents began Tuesday and ended Thursday, according to police.

Wixom Police Chief Clarence Goodlein said police believe one man is doing the shootings. In most of the cases, he said, the man is shooting a handgun at vehicles while he is driving in one direction and they are heading in the other.

No one has been injured, but there have been close calls.

Goodlein said bullets have been recovered from vehicles and tires. One bullet lodged 2 inches below a driver’s leg, he said.

Goodlein said the shootings have occurred as follows:

• On Tuesday, there was a shooting at West Maple and Best Drive in Commerce Township and three in Wixom on North Wixom Road between Charms and Potter roads.
• On Wednesday, there was a shooting in Commerce Township on Benstein just north of West Maple.
• Thursday saw the bulk of the shootings: One at Loon Lake and Hopkins in Wixom, six on Wixom Road between Charms Road and Pontiac Trail in Wixom, one on I-96 and nine shootings along M-52.

The shootings all occurred in either the afternoon or evenings, Goodlein said.

He said three bullets, some fragments and one cartridge has been recovered and sent to the Oakland County and Michigan State Police crime labs for testing. Goodlein said police hope to have results back by the end of the week.

As well, he said police are waiting on a behavioral analysis of the shooter, who police say they believe lives in one of the four counties.

A multi-jurisdictional task force has been formed to investigate the shootings. Agencies involved are Wixom police, Walled Lake police, Michigan State Police, Michigan State University Police Department, Michigan Intelligence Operation center, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Oakland, Livingston and Ingham sheriff’s offices.

"We are going to find this person," Goodlein said.

Meanwhile, schoolchildren in Wixom stayed inside for recess today as police search for the shooter.
Walled Lake Consolidated Schools spokeswoman Judy Evola said today that five schools in Wixom are in "shelter in place" mode, meaning doors are locked, recess takes place inside and police are in the area. The measures will remain in place today at Western High School, Banks Middle School, Loon Lake Elementary, Wixom Elementary and Twin Sun Preschool, she said.

No reports of shots being fired were made fired since Wednesday, a dispatcher from the Wixom Police Department said Sunday.

"It’s a precaution," Evola said. "They have not apprehended the person who is doing these random shootings. And we don’t want to have students outside if there’s even a chance of that happening."
School officials are unsure how long the measures may last.

"We don’t know at this point," Evola said. "We just want to ensure that our students are safe. We’re working collaboratively with local law enforcement officials."

Investigators released a sketch Sunday of the suspect, created from a description by a witness to a Tuesday shooting. The suspect is thought to be driving a dark car resembling either a late model Oldsmobile Alero or Toyota Camry.

A police task force of several agencies beefed up patrols along I-96 over the weekend where many of the shootings occurred. Anyone with information is asked to call 800-773-2587.


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