BCPD: Murder suspect also attacked semi driver

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Before being jailed, the suspect in a double Battle Creek homicide was hospitalized following a road rage incident, police say.

Officers say 62-year-old Fred Bissel and 41-year-old Jason Dush were stabbed to death at the Silver Star Apartments, a complex for veterans, on Clark Road north of W. Dickman Road. A resident found their bodies around 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Battle Creek police at Silver Star Apartments on April 12, 2020, to investigate suspicious deaths. (Courtesy Dawn Ricketts)

The suspect has been identified as 56-year-old Kenneth Hoskins. Though he is from South Bend, Indiana, he had been living with one of the victims, police say.

Battle Creek Police Department Detective Sgt. Joel Case said Hoskins came into police custody after being injured in an incident around 4 p.m. on westbound I-94 near the Business Loop exit in Kalamazoo County’s Comstock Township.

“He had been involved in an accident with a semi-truck, got into some type of an altercation with the semi-truck driver where he allegedly stabbed or maybe even tried to kill the semi-truck driver. After doing that, he tried to steal the semi-truck,” Case said.

Investigators say they believe Hoskins had already stabbed the two men at the apartment complex before the road rage incident. Police say he attempted to take his own life before officers arrived and was taken to the hospital.

BCPD says Hoskins has been moved from the hospital to the Kalamazoo County Jail.

Detectives say they identified the suspect through surveillance video at the apartment complex and learned he was already in custody through a records search.

“We have no idea what the motive is at this point, so we’re not sure if the actual homicides or the crime itself was related to drugs or if it could have just been any form of an argument or something like that,” Case said.

A friend of both victims who lives at Silver Star and did not want to be identified said he will never forget how he learned of the deaths.

Silver Star Apartments in Battle Creek. (April 14, 2020)

“I was notified about 4 o’clock the day, Sunday, by another resident. He was hysterical and everything and he said that something had happened to Fred and Jason. I said, ‘What?’ and he said, ‘They’re dead,’” the man told News 8 over the phone.

The man said he immediately called 911 and waited for police to arrive.

“I went down to investigate because she asked me to make sure and I went in along with another resident and they were both deceased and I proceeded to let the police in about 10 minutes later,” the man said.

People who knew the victims say Bissel and Dush were nice guys who will always be missed.

“I give my heartfelt sympathy to Jason and Fred’s family,” the Silver Star resident said.

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