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Police place two schools on lockdown during barricaded suspect incidents

By: April Lehmbeck | Advertiser Times | Published June 10, 2015

Harper Woods Police had a busy day June 10 with two incidents that resulted in locking down Beacon and Tyrone elementary schools.

The first incident involved a possible barricaded gunman in the 19300 block of Woodcrest, just a couple of houses away from Beacon Elementary. Police had to shut down Beacon for four hours while they investigated the incident and forced their way into the home.

“We had a report that a 62-year-old male resident made several threats that he was going to come outside and shoot a bunch of people and then himself,” Harper Woods Public Safety Director James Burke said.

“Several residents and family members were telling us he was making threats,” Burke said.

Police immediately started working to make contact with the man. The Eastern Wayne Special Response Team, which is made up of officers from the Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods, responded to the call. When the team arrived at the home, it discovered that the man was no longer there.

“They forced entry and checked the home,” Burke said on the afternoon of June 10.  “We’re still looking for him.”

Hours later, at 1:15 a.m. July 11, the officers found the suspect in the area of his house.

“Due to the nature of the potential threats and the suspect’s condition, he has been taken to a medical facility for evaluation,” Burke said in a Nixle.com report. “Our detectives will confer with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office once the evaluation has been completed to determine what, if any, charges may be filed against the man.”

While police were dealing with that incident, the Michigan State Police had a suspect flee during a traffic stop and end up at a home in the 20400 block of Woodside.

“(He) bailed out of the car, ran inside and locked himself inside the house,” Burke said.

That suspect, a Harper Woods man, was placed in custody after police were able to gain access to the home. 

“They were able to make entry with the assistance of a family member,” Burke said.

Officers surrounded the house. Tyrone Elementary was placed on lockdown for an hour during this incident.

Burke said there were no injuries in either incident.

“Our officers and Grosse Pointe officers did a great job of containing everything,” Burke said of the incidents. “They did a great job all around.”

Burke thanked the school district staff and administration for their cooperation during the lockdowns.

“They did a great job in keeping the kids calm and acted in a highly professional manner in communicating with the parents of the students who rightfully were extremely concerned about their children,” Burke stated in the Nixle.com report. “It is unfortunate that incidents of this nature occur, but I am very proud of the efforts of the police officers and the staff of the schools for the way these situations were handled. Harper Woods is fortunate to have talented professionals looking out for the safety of our kids and the community.”