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November 12, 2013

Seaholm closed following early morning carjacking

By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer

Classes at Seaholm High School were cancelled for the day after a building employee was reportedly robbed and carjacked at gunpoint early this morning.

According to police, a maintenance worker at Seaholm arrived at the school’s west entrance just before 5 a.m. As he was exiting his vehicle, he was reportedly approached by a younger man who pointed a handgun at him and demanded money, his cell phone and keys. He then fired one shot into the air.

The victim dropped his property on the ground and began to run away. As he ran, he heard a second gunshot. He saw a second suspect run toward his vehicle, and then both subjects got in the victim’s Grand Marquis and fled the scene.

The victim had a second cell phone with him and called 911. A broadcast was issued to other departments in the area with a description of the vehicle, and a short time later, officers from the Madison Heights Police Department spotted the stolen vehicle heading southbound on I-75. The suspects fled from officers and abandoned the vehicle in the area of Seven Mile and Conant.

According to Cmdr. Terry Kiernan of Birmingham police, the stolen vehicle was likely damaged, and that’s why the suspects left it. Officers perusing the vehicle reported seeing sparks coming from one of the tires, which was riding on the rim.

Officers from the Michigan State Police, Detroit, Madison Heights, Royal Oak and Birmingham set up a perimeter around that area and brought in a K-9 unit. They were able to track one of the suspects to a house, where he was taken into custody. He is the subject believed to be the one who fired the two gunshots, according to police.

At first, the 18-year-old was reportedly not cooperating with police, refusing to identified himself or provide officers with any information. But, as officers pressed him and proceeded to fingerprint him for identification, he at least divulged information about himself.

“He’s not really telling us much about anything, other than his innocence,” said Kiernan.

The gun was recovered near the area where he was taken into custody. Police are still looking for the suspect.

“Whether we’ll find this other guy, or why they were up here, only time will tell,” said Kiernan. “That’s the million dollar question. Was this random? And, if it’s random, then you’re thinking we would’ve had some other larceny from autos reported or something. Or are we going to find another stolen car over there? Or was this a setup on this one guy for some reason?”

One thing police are confident about is that these two were the only suspects involved, and there’s no reason for residents to be concerned about further incidents.

Anne Cron, community relations representative for Birmingham Public Schools, said that the district had made the decision early this morning to cancel classes for the day to aid in the ongoing investigation.

“Classes are expected to resume tomorrow,” she added.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at tesshaki@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1095.