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Michigan Man Dead After Firing on Police Helicopter

Air-Crew and Responding Officers Unhurt

On Tuesday, 24 January 2023, at approximately 20:30 EST, a 33-year-old man holed up in a derelict house north of Detroit’s downtown district pointed a laser at a patrolling police helicopter.

"We got somebody hitting us with a green laser on the rear of the house, upper window," the helicopter’s crew informed police dispatchers.

Shortly thereafter, the man—whose name has yet to be disclosed—reappeared briefly in the same window brandishing an unknown object, then vanished into the abandoned home’s shadows.  

Moments Michigan State Police dispatchers received the following transmission: "Now there's somebody standing at the back door. Right now, they're in the backyard. He actually might, he might be armed. He almost looks like he's holding a long gun pointed at us right now. Yeah, he's shooting at us right now. He's firing rounds. He's got a long gun."

The gunman fired at the helicopter multiple times—muzzle-flashes and spent cartridge-casings shone brightly in the air-crew’s thermal imaging optics—before breaking off his attack and retreating briefly into the house. Presently, the man returned to the structure’s second-floor, from which he reportedly resumed firing on the helicopter.

Michigan State Police troopers from the department’s Metro South precinct responded, approaching the residence on foot. Wilier and keener-eyed than rational, the gunman spotted the officers and fired upon them.

The troopers returned fire, killing the man in short order.

Michigan State Police First Lieutenant Mike Shaw stated: "The suspect was hit and went down. We had our emergency support team show up, and went up to approach the house. There were concerns because he was still armed and was lying there."

The helicopter, designated Trooper Two, landed at Willow Run Airport (YIP) where it was inspected and found to have sustained no gun-shots. Neither the helicopter’s crew, the responding MSP troopers, nor any member of the public—excepting the unnamed gunman—was reported injured in the incident.

FMI: www.michigan.gov/msp

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