MANLIUS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A man was shot and wounded by an Allegan County sheriff’s deputy after he allegedly stole or tried to steal as many as five cars over the course of two days and threatened people with a gun.
“It sounds like he was crashing the vehicles, getting out and then carjacking another one at gunpoint,” Allegan County Sheriff Frank Baker said.
The officer-involved shooting happened north of Fennville Sunday morning. The suspect remained hospitalized Sunday afternoon with what Baker called “significant” injuries.
Baker told 24 Hour News 8 the suspect is a 22-year-old man, though his name wasn’t released. The sheriff said his team will meet with the county prosecutor Monday morning to discuss precisely what charges the suspect will face.
The sheriff’s office said the first report of a stolen vehicle came in around 7 p.m. Saturday near Martin. Deputies eventually found that vehicle abandoned.
Investigators later spotted the suspect in another stolen in Wayland and gave chase. The suspect crashed the stolen car in the Hopkins area and ran away. Authorities brought in a dog to try to find him, but weren’t successful. The sheriff said rainy conditions affected the dog’s ability to track.
“He wasn’t really in the area long,” Baker added of the suspect. “Crashed, got out, got another vehicle and went on his way.”
Around 7 a.m. Sunday, it was reported that the suspect had stolen yet another vehicle near the intersection of 56th Street and 128th Avenue in Manlius Township.
“A Corvette that was stolen in the evening (Saturday) was crashed in the area M-40 and Allegan north of town. And the subject got out … at that time displayed an AR-15 assault rifle, then took possession of another vehicle and fled the area northbound on M-40,” Baker said. “This time a carjacking, so now it’s beginning to turn violent.”
At one point, the man was caught by an owner as he tried to steal a car and gunshots were exchanged. The car owner wasn’t hurt.
The suspect then went into another home and held the people inside at gunpoint. Those people declined an on-camera interview with 24 Hour News 8 Sunday afternoon but described the incident as extremely frightening.
By by the time the suspect was leaving the house to steal the victims’ truck, deputies had tracked him down. Authorities say he refuse to obey their commands, at which point they opened fire on him.
The sheriff said the suspect didn’t shoot at the deputies before they shot him. He said they wanted to stop the threat to the public.
No deputies were hurt.
“Obviously it’s a very scary situation when you got someone who’s armed with not only a rifle but he had a pistol as well and had fired at a homeowner, had taken vehicles at gunpoint,” Baker said. “So very dangerous situation but it ended with the only being injured was the suspect.”
The sheriff added it appears the man was hurt before he was shot, but it’s not clear how that happened.
Michigan State Police are investigating the officer-involved shooting, which is standard procedure. The sheriff’s department is investigating the car thefts.
—24 Hour News 8’s Marvis Herring contributed to this report.
**Correction: A previous version of this article stated the suspect was involved in a shootout with deputies. While he did fire shots Sunday, none of them were at deputies. We regret the error, which has been corrected.