DETROIT – The Detroit police chief said a gunman barricaded inside a home on the city's east side killed two women Sunday night and injured three police officers when he opened fired upon them.
Chief James Craig said it is possible the man is holding hostage another woman inside the home on Lamont Street near East Outer Drive and Ryan Road. Two of Craig's officers suffered minor injuries when the man opened fire upon them in two separate attacks.
Craig said a third officer with the Detroit Public Schools Police Department, who was off-duty at the time, also was shot and injured by the gunman. He is expected to be OK, too.
That DPS officer was first to respond to the scene, Craig said, after a neighbor notified him of shots fired.
"All three officers were shot in the leg," the chief said.
Officers pinned down by gunfire for an hour
At about 10:30 p.m. Sunday officers responded to the 911 call about shots fired. Craig said about nine of his responding officers were pinned down by gunfire for about an hour. The gunman fired an unknown number of rounds in two separate attacks on the officers.
The suspect had shot and killed the women, shot the DPS officer and then started firing upon Craig's officers.
3rd victim may be in home with suspect
Meanwhile, a third victim may remain inside the home with the suspect. Craig identified the suspect as 49-year-old Lance Smith. He has no criminal history, Craig said, as he called this deadly shooting and attack on police an "anomaly." Family members said the man suffers from mental illness, but Craig said there is nothing to confirm such.
Craig said his officers did deploy gas during the standoff as they worked to end the situation. However, the man inside the home made it clear he wanted to deliberately fight with law enforcement, the chief said.
"The suspect was heard saying, 'I will not be taken without a fight,'" said Craig.
The suspect has not been spoken to since 2:30 a.m. Monday and remains barricaded inside the home. Craig said it is possible he could be dead inside.
"Based on his actions overnight, this is a very dangerous situation," he said.
The standoff is ongoing.
Detroit police and Michigan State Police have blocked off streets and roads in the neighborhood. Nearby Mason Elementary Middle School was forced to cancel classes Monday for the students' and faculty's safety.
Neighbor taken into custody
A neighbor who was believed to be involved was taken into custody, Craig said. He was believed to be barricaded inside the home nextdoor. However, Craig said the man is not considered a suspect and will be released. The man had contacted the DPS officer to report the shots fired.
"He's going to be released. He was not involved in this incident at all," said the chief.
Watch Craig's full Monday morning news conference here: