An armored vehicle is in front of the house on St. Margaret Street after police used it to try to enter the home of an alleged shooter.

An armored vehicle is in front of the house on St. Margaret Street after police used it to try to enter the home of an alleged shooter.

Photo provided by neighbor


Police investigating active shooter in St. Clair Shores

Neighbors say man upset over fireworks began firing gun

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published July 5, 2019

 Police wait outside the home on where a man allegedly opened fire on July 4.

Police wait outside the home on where a man allegedly opened fire on July 4.

Photo by Kristyne Demske

St. Clair Shores Police and Michigan State Police have been on the scene of a shooting since around 10 p.m. July 4, when a man allegedly fired shots out into the street in response to fireworks being set off to celebrate the national holiday. 

About 20 hours into the standoff, St. Clair Shores police and other agencies were still on the scene, trying to get the man, who is reportedly in his late 50s or early 60s, to exit a home on St. Margaret Street close to Masonic Boulevard.

Deputy Chief Gary Crandall said that the man allegedly shot two neighbors the evening of July 4, a younger girl and an older woman, about 12 and 62 years old. 

“He was upset at the kids across the street for lighting up fireworks. He confronted them,” and the family began to argue with him, Crandall said. “He took a light, started shining it in the kids’ eyes and the confrontation grew from there.”

Crandall added that the story was one-sided because the man has not spoken with police since the incident began. 

In that time, the man allegedly shot at police the night of July 4 and on several different occasions on July 5. He also took shots at the Michigan State Police robots that have been sent into the home.

The man has barricaded himself in the basement of the house, which Crandall said is allegedly owned by the man’s girlfriend. As of 6 p.m. July 5, Crandall said that police are flooding the basement, “so he will come to us for safety and we can apprehend him.”

“We figure if we can flood the basement, he’ll have no choice (but) to come to us to be safe, so that’s what we’re hoping to do.”

He said they are unaware of the whereabouts of the man’s girlfriend.

Crandall said that police were told by a family member that the man is not a military veteran. He has a history with police and is known for having neighbor problems, he added.

Neighbors have been told by police to stay in their homes throughout the duration of the incident.

“We were home. It sounded like fireworks going off, (but) it was quicker,” said Jon Redman, who lives on St. Margaret Street.

He said he ran outside to see what was happening and saw that neighbors were arguing in the street. Redman said that a police officer told him that two people had been shot and that he needed to get back into his house and go into the basement.

When he tried to leave his house to go to work at 5 a.m. July 5, police checked his identification and searched his work truck before telling him to go back inside.

Another neighbor on the street said that she had to sleep in her car all night after coming home July 4 because police had the street blocked off between 13 Mile Road and Masonic Boulevard. As of the early afternoon July 5, police were still on the scene with an armored truck and had sent three robots into the house. Police and Emergency Response Team officers had allegedly also thrown tear gas into the home overnight and had used a battering ram on the house.

Redman said that the house where the shooter is allegedly located is a rental home and he didn’t know the man. Pictures he had of the front of the home, however, showed the porch crushed and windows and doors smashed in from police trying to enter the premises.

“It all started because they were shooting off fireworks and this guy got pissed off,” he said.

Will Korte lives on the corner of Masonic Boulevard and St. Margaret Street. He said he got home later on July 4 and found barricades already up a few houses south of his home.

“At that point, the rumor mill was going,” he said. “Out of nowhere, we hear gunshots. Here come the police; they’re pushing us all down.”

Kim Gates, of St. Clair Shores, was trying to get to her mother’s house on Masonic Boulevard at the same time because her mother had to go to the hospital.

She saw police and emergency vehicles everywhere, but she thought there had just been a house fire because she had grown up in the area and said the street is known for its fireworks on the Fourth of July.

“I (overheard) the paramedics that were taking (her mother) that a minor was shot,” Gates said. “I don’t know what is wrong with people.

“This has always been the party street for fireworks. (It’s) nothing new.”

Korte said he watched police push their armored truck into the front of the house and then later on send robots into the house to try and see who was still inside.

“You see this stuff on the news, but you never think it’s going to be this close,” he said.

Police and officials were not immediately available for comment. Check back for updates.