Detroit police sniper kills barricaded gunman who held girlfriend hostage

The standoff lasted nine hours before a single shot ended it, police said

By Justine Lofton

DETROIT — A Detroit Police sniper fired a single shot over the weekend to end a barricaded gunman situation that was becoming more violent and posed a serious threat to the hostage’s life, the Detroit Free Press reports.

The situation on Detroit’s east side ended Friday night with the shooting of the 42-year-old man who had taken his girlfriend hostage that afternoon, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Saturday. The man died at a hospital an hour after he was shot, the Detroit Free Press reports. The hostage had no serious injuries, although it was clear she feared for her life throughout the incident as a gun was pointed at her back several times and she cried for help.

A photo of a Detroit Police Department vehicle on May 3, 2018.
A photo of a Detroit Police Department vehicle on May 3, 2018. (Tanya Moutzalias/

Over the course of nine hours on Friday, negotiators worked to persuade the gunman to surrender and his mother spoke on local TV news to convince him to exit the home.

The gunman, who has a violent history, suffered a mental health crisis after not taking medication to treat bipolar disorder for 48 hours, the report said. It was the 28th barricaded gunman situation this year – half of those stemmed from mental illness, Craig said.

Craig called for increased mental health funding to address this “public safety concern,” but not at the expense of police cuts. He also said social workers should work with police in dealing with mentally ill subjects.

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(c)2020, Walker, Mich.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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