Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Monday

July 15, 2013

State Police investigate Kalkaska shooting

KALKASKA — Michigan State Police continue an investigation into an incident in which a man ambushed two of his family members in their Garfield Township home with a rifle and later killed himself.

Michigan State Police Lt. John Card said the 58-year-old suspect's name would be released later this week. He said the suspect entered his brother and sister-in-law's home near Fletcher Road in Kalkaska County on July 12 with a .22-caliber long rifle.

"(The residents) came home and were completely surprised," he said.

Card said troopers still don't know how many shots the suspect fired during a lengthy struggle as the residents tried to disarm him. The brother and sister-in-law escaped and contacted authorities at about 9 p.m.

Kalkaska County Undersheriff Abe Devol said state police troopers were the closest to the house.

"The closest cars are always assigned that complaint," he said. Two sheriff's deputies did help secure the scene, he said.

Card said no contact was made with the suspect, who reportedly had mental health issues. He said a state police special response team and tactical robot were called because of the fear the suspect barricaded himself inside the home with his gun.

"We weren't sure he was still alive," he said.

The suspect's body was found in early July 13 on an outdoor porch with a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, police said. The robot was used to confirm it was the suspect before troopers entered the home.

Card said "all variables" — the number of shots fired, the suspect's motives — will be investigated. He said the public should contact authorities if they had talked with the suspect, though he wouldn't release the identity.

"If anybody had observed the suspect prior to or had any conversation with the suspect it may be helpful to investigators," he said.

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