MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) - A 19-year-old Muskegon man is in custody after allegedly fleeing authorities and threatening to shoot a police officer. During a foot chase with police, he had to dodge bullets from an officer's gun.
That police officer is on administrative leave pending the completion of the criminal/internal investigation, which is standard procedure.
The Muskegon Police Department received a call at 12:53 a.m. Monday from a security officer at Hackley Hospital who reported someone driving a red van had shot at him.
It was later determined a rock had broken a window on the security vehicle.
Muskegon Police started looking for the red van. They had already on the lookout for a similar vehicle.
"There was a red van that was allegedly involved in gang activities... and possibly there would be a shooting," said Muskegon Public Safety Director Jeffrey Lewis.
A short time later a police officer on patrol spotted that van near Wood Street and Amity Avenue. The police officer followed the red van and tried to initiate a traffic stop near Wood Street and Oak Avenue.
But the driver of the van continued driving east on Oak Avenue, and then jumped out of the van as it was still moving in the 700 block. The van crashed into a tree.
Rufus Young thought it was commotion on his television until he looked outside his Oak Street home, but what happened next sent him running for cover.
"All at once I got up and I thought I heard shots," said Rufus. "Pop, pop, pop, pow. They were shooting."
As the officer got out of his vehicle, the suspect, armed with what appeared to be a handgun, ran toward the officer. The officer fired at the suspect, who was not hit and fled the scene.
He hasn't released it, but Lewis has seen the dash cam video.
"He calls out, 'there's a gun,'" recounted Lewis. "And as he exits the vehicle, he believes the suspect has a gun. He sees it. He calls it out."
It's not clear if the suspect fired as well.
A foot chase ensued and officers witnessed the suspect enter a home -- owned by people not known to him -- in the 500 block of Oak Avenue.
The homeowners allowed the officers into the residence and police found the suspect hiding in a bedroom. He was taken into custody, and a loaded handgun was recovered in the bedroom.
The suspect was on probation at the time and now faces charges of fleeing and eluding, felonious assault, possession of a firearm, and violation of a conditional bond.
Investigators are still trying to figure out the number of shots fired, who fired them, whether the 19-year-old was involved in the Hackley incident and who owned the gun found in the room the suspect was hiding in.
"The investigation is ongoing. How we put that back in the suspect's hands and we have to now take the investigation and go backwards," said Lewis.
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