Homeowner shoots, kills intruder in Ionia County

Ionia County

SEBEWA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A bizarre Ionia County home invasion turned deadly for the suspect Tuesday night, after he was shot by the homeowner.

It happened shortly after 10:30 p.m. in the 4000 block of East Musgrove Highway in Sebewa Township.

Minutes before the shooting, neighbor Amanda Berd saw a pickup towing a trailer loaded with a piece of heavy equipment struggle past her home on Musgrove, just blocks from the shooting.

“(The) brakes, they were like locked up or whatever they were doing. And then we looked down the road and he was stopped,” said Berd.

Investigators believe 40-year-old Justin Eddy stole the truck towing the flatbed from a home about two miles to the east, in the 2000 block of Musgrove.

Deputies believe Eddy drove through a few properties before arriving at the house where he was shot, based on damage on both the truck and trailer. 

Eddy left the truck and forced his way into a home in the 4000 block of Musgrave, telling the startled homeowner someone was trying to kill him.

“The homeowner grabbed one of his personal defense weapons, and decided to go outside with the subject to look and see if anybody was really out there. They didn’t find anybody,” said Ionia County Sheriff Charlie Noll.

But when both men returned to the home, Eddy became agitated and attacked the homeowner.

“Once this happened, the homeowner was able to get away from him and shot him once in the chest,” Noll said.

The shot killed Eddy before deputies arrived.

Eddy had no known connection to the homeowner or the area in general.

“The way the subject was acting as described by the homeowner, there’s certainly an indication that there probably was some kind of substance abuse possibly being involved in this,” Noll said.

Investigators later found Eddy’s vehicle at the home where he stole the pickup truck, still running with its headlights on.

Detectives are still piecing together the series of events that led to the deadly confrontation.

Court records indicate prosecutors recently dropped charges filed against Eddy, which included felonious assault, domestic violence and malicious destruction of property.

The man who fired the shot is not being identified. Berd says the man and his wife are well known in the sparsely populated neighborhood located northeast of Lake Odessa. 

“Very nice people. I mean, they’d do anything for anybody,” said Berd.  

“I can’t imagine what they’re going through right now, you know?  He was just probably trying to protect his wife,” she added.

“At this point in time, we don’t have information otherwise,” Noll said.  “But again, we still have some work to do in this investigation. The prosecutor will make the final decision on how this is going to proceed.”

The homeowner had a permit for the gun and a concealed pistol license. He’s cooperating with investigators.

Anyone with information in this case asked to call the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office’s Detective Bureau at 616.527.5737.

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