Armed suspects arrested after chase in Farmington Hills

Three suspects still at large

By: Mark Vest | Farmington Press | Published August 15, 2023


FARMINGTON HILLS — The Farmington Hills Police Department has arrested two individuals in connection with a vehicle pursuit that occurred Aug. 8, according to a press release from the city of Farmington Hills.

The incident was initiated from an alert generated from a Flock license plate-reading camera, which identified a vehicle with a stolen license plate. 

At approximately 1:30 p.m. officers  pursued the vehicle on Middlebelt Road, south of Grand River Avenue.

Officers responded to the area of the alert and quickly located the vehicle and confirmed the information obtained from the license plate-reading camera. 

The suspect vehicle, a gray 2024 Dodge Durango, upon seeing marked patrol cars moving to block its travel, accelerated and actively attempted to evade them, the release states. 

Officers initiated a pursuit of the vehicle. At one point during the pursuit the suspect vehicle intentionally crashed into a marked police vehicle that had attempted to slow down and block the vehicle’s escape path. 

The collision disabled the police vehicle and caused severe damage to the fleeing vehicle. 

With the suspect vehicle slowing down, officers were able to force the vehicle to stop, at which point its five occupants, four males and one female, “rapidly” exited the vehicle and fled on foot. 

Officers immediately pursued the suspects and were able to take one suspect into custody after a brief foot pursuit. 

A second suspect was located and taken into custody a short time later, after trying to flee in a secondary vehicle. Although the driver of the secondary vehicle was not connected with the original pursuit, that individual was taken into custody after police learned of “other warrants for their arrest.”

An extensive search of the area was conducted utilizing the department’s K-9 team and drone unit.  However, the remaining three at-large suspects were not located. 

A search of the suspect vehicle led to the recovery of a Glock 22 pistol with an extended 30-round magazine. 

This firearm was found to have been reported stolen. 

The vehicle had been stolen from the Jefferson Assembly Plant in Detroit approximately two weeks prior. 

A review of video obtained after officers cleared the area revealed that one of the suspects who was taken into custody was carrying and attempting to conceal on his person an AK-47-style rifle, which has been referred to in social media posts as a “Draco,” according to the release.

Officers returned to the area and were able to locate and seize the rifle.

One of the suspects, Destinee Amorie James, was charged by the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office with resisting and obstructing police, which is a two-year felony.

James, 18, was arraigned in 47th District Court in Farmington Hills Aug. 10. Her next hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 25 for an in-court pre-exam conference.

Her bond was set at $5,000. The 47th District Court did not have an attorney listed for her at press time.

The other suspect, a 24-year-old male, was in custody with charges pending at press time.

“The individual that we took into custody, the male with the weapon, he’s been turned over to the custody of a federal law enforcement partner that is continuing the ongoing investigation,” Farmington Hills Police Chief Jeff King said in a phone interview with the Press. 

The name of that individual has not been released.

King shared further details about the suspects.

“These were dangerous felons that were participating in an ongoing criminal organization and enterprise,” he said. “They had no regard for public safety, putting not only our officers, but the public at large, in danger.”

 As for the three at-large suspects, King said, “We’re diligently pursuing several leads to try to identify them.”

One of the three remaining suspects is identified as a Black male with a thin build and braided hair, between the ages of 18 and 21. He was reportedly wearing a camouflage hooded jacket, black pants, and black and yellow Air Jordan shoes.

Another suspect is described as a Black male with a thin build and between the ages of 18 and 21. He was reportedly wearing a “black over brown” hooded jacket, a brown hat, black pants and white shoes.

The third suspect is described as a Black male with a medium build and braided hair, between the ages of 18 and 21. He was reportedly wearing a black, hooded Nike sweatshirt and black pants.

The Farmington Hills Police Department is asking that anyone who knows or observes the remaining suspects call 911, without attempting to confront the individuals. 

King commended the responding officers.

“It is further evidence of the professionalism of our officers and the quality of our training,” he said “These situations could very easily escalate into a deadly-force situation, a very dangerous situation, and our officers acted with excellent situational awareness, calm and control. … The officers performed spectacularly, safely, professionally, and I couldn’t be any more proud of our officers, the way they handled this, getting two dangerous individuals and two dangerous weapons,(and) a stolen car back off the street.”