Man with shotgun arrested outside school

Police negotiated with suspect so no shots were fired

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published April 1, 2013

MADISON HEIGHTS — A 24-year-old Bloomfield-area man is in police custody after brandishing a shotgun near a school in a moment of emotional distress.

No shots were fired, and no one was hurt.

Cole Renne, the gunman, was arraigned in Madison Heights 43rd District Court on Saturday, March 23. Magistrate Patrick Brennan set his bond at $100,000, cash or surety.

Renne, who is accused by police of pointing a shotgun at responding officers and then at himself, was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, a four-year felony; possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, a two-year felony; and possessing a weapon in a weapon-free school zone, a 93-day misdemeanor.

The incident occurred around 12:40 p.m. March 21, when police received word of an individual wielding a gun not far from Madison Preparatory Academy, in the 27000 block of Hales. Previously known as Community High, the school is an alternative education program serving second- and third-chance students.

Cole is the son of Leslie Renne-Kegebein, the principal at Madison Prep. Police say that, prior to the incident, Renne-Kegebein had been trying to help him through an earlier dispute with a girlfriend. The mother and son were near his truck in a nearby parking lot, and his truck was out of gas. 

“They were going to go get gas for his truck, and that’s when he said, basically, ‘Forget it,’ and went to his truck to retrieve his shotgun,” said Madison Police Lt. Robert Anderson. “I think, at that point, he was suicidal. He was despondent over the incident with the alleged girlfriend, and this is how he decided to handle it.”

Neighbors and school staff called police.

“The mother was in the parking lot with (Cole), pleading for him to stop what he was doing, and then police arrived, took positions of cover, and were able to negotiate a peaceful ending,” Anderson said.

Neither Cole nor the five officers fired any shots. Cole’s weapon was a loaded pump-action shotgun with the stock removed. Since there’s no way to trace long guns, according to Anderson, it is unknown where Cole got the shotgun.

Meanwhile, Madison Prep was in lockdown until the situation was declared resolved.

“Due to the proximity of the incident to the building, we not only went into external lockdown, where we lock the building, but we also treated this like an internal lockdown, where all of the children were moved to the safest place in every classroom,” said Madison Superintendent Randy Speck.

“We went into lockdown, and our emergency procedures worked,” he said. “And with any incident that happens in our district or others, we go back and review our policies and procedures to make sure they are appropriate. That’s what we’ve also done in this situation.”