MSP: Suspect fired shots before crash killed woman on mower

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MATTESON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan State Police have released more information about the moments leading up to a crash that killed a driver and an innocent woman as she mowed her lawn.

Police say a 38-year-old Colon man called 911 after dropping off personal property at a home near the 1000 block of Wattles Road in Branch County’s Matteson Township Sunday afternoon.

The man said he was leaving property in the front yard when the 38-year-old suspect from Sherwood fired several shots into the yard. The victim said the man also pointed the shotgun at him as he drove away.

Police said there was no contact between the victim and the suspect, a 38-year-old man from Sherwood, prior to the gunfire.

As the victim was on the phone with 911, the suspect, who the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department identified as Shawn Shook, sped past him driving westbound on Wattles Road.

Shortly thereafter, deputies say Shook lost control of his vehicle in a curve and veered off the road, hitting and killed 53-year-old Jody Clipfell, who was mowing her lawn near Wattles Road in St. Joseph County.

The suspect’s vehicle then rolled and went airborne before hitting a tree, according to the sheriff’s office. Shook also died at the scene.

MSP believes alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.

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