Madison officer aids in pursuit of armed carjacking suspects

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published November 26, 2013

MADISON HEIGHTS — A Madison Heights police officer got involved in the pursuit of two Birmingham carjacking suspects and eventually tracked them to a residential area in Detroit, where the officer fired a shot when he perceived himself to be in danger. Nobody was hurt, and in the end, one suspect was arrested, who at press time was in custody in Birmingham while the search continued for the second suspect.

The incident occurred around 5 a.m. Nov. 12. The Birmingham Police Department notified neighboring jurisdictions of an armed carjacking that had just taken place at Seaholm High School. A 2006 Mercury Grand Marquis had been stolen at gunpoint, and shots had been fired during the incident.

It wasn’t long before a Madison Heights police officer in a fully marked patrol car saw a vehicle matching the description enter southbound I-75 at 12 Mile. He followed the suspect vehicle, which began switching lanes and increasing speed. When the officer turned on his emergency equipment, the suspects are said to have accelerated to more than 100 mph in an attempt to escape the pursuing police.

This reportedly continued southbound on I-75 until the suspects reached the exit at Seven Mile Road. From there, they continued east on Seven Mile before turning south into a residential area. At this point, the right front tire on the suspect vehicle had gone flat, slowing them down. The suspects turned left, lost control of the vehicle and careened into a parked car, coming to a stop.

That’s when the suspects got out of the vehicle — the suspect gun was allegedly seen — and the officer fired a shot, at the intersection of Gallagher and Hildale in Detroit.  

“The officer fired from the patrol car — just one shot,” said Madison Heights Police Lt. Robert Anderson. “The patrol car had come to a stop. The officer observed what he thought was a gun in the right hand of the suspect driver, who had turned to the officer while exiting the vehicle. So in response, the officer fired a shot.

“It was done based on the knowledge that the carjacking that had occurred earlier had had shots fired, so there had already been a demonstration of violence,” Anderson said.

He noted that nobody was hurt and it was early in the morning, so the streets were empty.

“In a case like this, deadly force can be used due to the possible danger posed by the suspect,” Anderson said. “If the suspect were to escape, he would be a threat to society.”

The officer gave chase on foot but lost sight of the suspects. He had chased the driver while the passenger ran in the opposite direction. The Madison Heights K-9 unit was called in to conduct a sweep of the area once a perimeter was established. This led to an abandoned home on Charest Street, in which police found the suspect hiding in a closet.

Police didn’t have details on the suspect’s identity at press time, but they said he was an 18-year-old Detroit resident who was turned over to authorities in Birmingham. Police were unable to find the second suspect at the time but did locate a firearm that matched the description of the one the officer had seen and that had been seen in the carjacking.

“Birmingham is following up on the investigation for the second suspect,” Anderson said. “He is considered dangerous.”