Gunman barricaded in Superior Township dead, Washtenaw sheriff says
Correction: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Jennifer Roquemore's name.
Superior Township — It was a startling scene in the quiet residential neighborhood in Washtenaw County, where dozens of officers converged Wednesday when a man barricaded himself at his home after allegedly firing gunshots that injured a sheriff’s deputy.
The incident at a condominium in the 8300 block of Lakeview Court near Berkshire Drive that brought more than 50 officers to the Oakbrook neighborhood in Superior Township ended after a nearly 9-hour standoff, investigators said Wednesday night.
Sheriff Jerry Clayton said he couldn't confirm the man's cause of death but said investigators made entry into the home where he was barricaded and found him dead.
"We don’t know how he was deceased, but it’s a loss of a human life and that for us is distressing," the sheriff said.
For residents, it was a day that had no parallel in their neighborhood.
“I’ve lived here for 30 years and nothing like this has ever happened,” said Jennifer Roquemore, who lives in a condo on Lakeview Court near the alleged gunman and couldn’t get home Wednesday because the street was blocked off.
Hours after a 2 p.m. call to report the gunshots, law enforcement had remained, some heavily armed and in military gear, waiting on the gunman holed up in a second-floor bedroom.
The neighborhood, which featured Movies in the Park on a giant screen at nearby Oakbrook Park on Berkshire in August, is nestled among homes and other condos, where residents go walking or biking for exercise.
“It’s a beautiful place. We live across a large field with deer and it’s very calm. I have no idea what could have happened,” Roquemore said.
The deputy, who has not been identified, was hospitalized in stable condition after being hit twice by gunshots that came from an upper bedroom window of the home, a witness said.
The shot from a rifle "penetrated his chest and came out on the other side," Clayton told WDIV (Channel 4) late Wednesday. "He's in stable condition now ... and faces a significant recovery." He said the deputy was "healthy and able to go home."
"In what could have been a worst-case scenario turned out as best you could hope for," he said of the deputy's condition.
Deputies were called just after 2 p.m., when a neighbor reported that a dispute had turned violent. Deputies drew fire as they approached the scene, said Derrick Jackson, director of community engagement for the sheriff’s department.
“Something happened, and one of the neighbors pulled out a weapon and started firing,” said Jackson. “That’s when we got a call from the neighbor.”
Residents were asked to remain indoors, with the restriction applying to those in the area bordered by North Prospect Road, Geddes, East Clark Road and North Harris.
A lawn care service employee said the male resident of the condo began staring at him and his coworkers from the upstairs window, where he had punched out the screen, started yelling and then threatened them and neighbors with the gun. Moments later, the witness said, deputies arrived and the officer was shot while walking across the street toward them.
A SWAT team stood ready alongside state police, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s deputies, Ann Arbor police and undercover officers. Three ambulances also were on the scene and a police helicopter flew above.
At about 8 p.m., the neighborhood lockdown remained in place and "officers continue to use every tool available in order to establish contact and bring this to a peaceful conclusion," sheriff's officials said.
Julie Jongeward, 33, lives on the street and said officers told residents that a sheriff’s deputy was shot.
“They told me someone shot the sheriff deputy and we’re thinking the gunman either took off because they won’t let anyone move, or he’s still there,” she said watching the scene at Berkshire and Sheffield Drive.
“They said this area would be blocked of until the rest of the night.”
Jongeward has lived in the complex, a mixture of homes and condos, for seven years. She said it’s usually calm.
“I usually go walking around this time, lots of bike riders and a quiet neighborhood,” she said. “Especially, in the newer subdivision. I don’t hear of anything. This is not typical.”