A 45-year-old Sterling Heights, Michigan man is in custody after two people were shot dead in what police describe as “a planned killing spree.”
According to police, the killing spree started on February 1, 2018 in Taylor, Michigan, when a man walked into a trucking company building on Pennsylvania Avenue and fatally shot the manager, Keith Kitchen, 60.
The shooter then left, stealing a white semi-truck and driving to another business in Pontiac, Michigan. There, he shot 58-year-old Eriberto Perez multiple times in the back.
“The suspect appeared to know exactly where he was going, went directly into this building, made turns and through doors and engaged this one person only and then left,” said Sheriff Mike Bouchard.
After killing his second victim, the shooter drove to a third business in Waterford, Michigan, where he asked for a man who wasn’t there.
Nick Verhey, who works at the Waterford business, Assured Carriers, said he came face to face with the gunman.
“He was standing right there and said, ‘What are you doing?’ And I couldn’t hardly understand him, but I think he told me, he said, ‘I’m not looking for you,'” Verhey said. “And that’s when I slammed the door in his face and locked the door.”
Verhey and a coworker climbed out of an office window and called 911, giving them a description of the stolen truck and the shooter.
Killing Spree Suspect Located
Police soon located a suspect and gave chase. Authorities allege he stopped his truck, got out, fired at police, got back in the truck, and tore off, speeding through an intersection where he hit at least two other vehicles.
Waterford police engaged in a shootout with the suspect that ended when he hit the ground, injured. The 45-year-old man was taken to hospital and operated on under police guard.
Two people were hurt in the Waterford car crash, but their injuries are not life threatening.
There may have been other people on the hit list. At the scene, police recovered “an AK-47 with double-tapped, taped-together 30-round magazines,” Bouchard said. Investigators also found additional magazines inside the truck.
While Verhey said he knows the suspect, he has no idea why the man allegedly went on a killing spree.
“He was just a normal truck driver; he did local trucking for us, ” Verhey said. “I mean, we never had any words with the guy or anything… He quit on us twice and we actually rehired him the second time, but…he never seemed to have a problem here.”
At the time of the shooting, the suspect was out on bond for an alleged December 2017 assault with a dangerous weapon.