A man accused of randomly shooting four people in four separate shootings on Sunday morning has been arrested after a relative reported him to police, authorities said Monday.
“Yesterday I asked the family and friends of the shooter to report him. It seemed unlikely that he could be arrested without incident, but, in fact, someone close to him responded and it was this community a contribution that allowed officers to take this individual into custody without further violence,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said at a press conference Monday.
The shooting left three people dead and one injured, Detroit Police Chief James White said. He added that the suspect had no criminal history, but that the police had “some indications that there was a mental illness”.
“It didn’t have to happen,” White said. “Once again the people of Detroit are in shock after lives have been taken at random from our community…There are more questions than answers, but the people of Detroit can sleep peacefully tonight in knowing that this suspect is off the street.”
Each of the victims appears to have been randomly targeted and does not appear to be connected, White noted. One was waiting for a bus, another was walking his dog and another was just on the street, White said. None of them were robbed.
At around 4:45 a.m. Sunday, a 40-year-old woman was discovered shot multiple times, White said. As officers investigated the shooting, a witness told them there was another victim nearby – a 28-year-old man – who had been shot multiple times. At around 6:50 a.m., another woman in her 40s was found shot multiple times, the chief said.
A fourth victim was shot around 7 a.m. after he noticed the suspect looking into cars and told him to drive away, White said.
The most critical piece of evidence in the investigation was that all of the shootings had 9-millimeter shell casings, police said.
The casings were taken to the office of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) where it was determined that the same firearm was used in all four shootings, Detroit Police Commander Michael McGinnis said.
And after a member of the community identified the suspect, police were able to locate a 9mm firearm through a search warrant of the suspect’s home and match the firearm to one used in the four shootings, McGinnis said.
“We have mobilized all of our technology, personnel, intelligence and community assets to investigate these incidents,” White said.
In a statement, White said the suspect “easily obtained” the weapon.
Mayor Mike Duggan announced the suspect’s arrest Sunday evening and praised police, law enforcement partners and the public.
“With the assistance of critical community information and strong support from the FBI, ATF and Michigan State Police, Detroit police officers arrested the suspect today without incident,” said he declared.