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Hourslong standoff with gunman in Detroit ends; 3 women killed, 3 officers shot, gunman dead

3rd victim found dead inside home with gunman

An hourslong standoff between police and a gunman accused of killing three women and injuring three police officers ended Monday afternoon when police found the suspect dead inside a Detroit home. 

Police said the man had killed two women before shooting an off-duty police officer from the Detroit Public Schools Police Department (DPSPD). He then fired upon responding officers from the Detroit Police Department, injuring two of them. None of the officers suffered life-threatening injuries. They were all shot in the lower leg. 

A third victim was found dead inside the home with the gunman Monday afternoon. Police said she was the gunman's girlfriend. The gunman was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw said his officers used a robot to enter the home and confirm the gunman and third female victim were dead before officers entered the home. 

Detroit Police Deputy Chief Elvin Barren said all of the victims are in their 50s, except one who was in her 40s. 

The standoff lasted about 14 hours. 

Homicide detectives are taking over the case. 

Watch an update from Detroit police here: 

Officers pinned down by gunfire for an hour

It all started about 10:30 p.m. Sunday at the home on Lamont Street near East Outer Drive and Ryan Road. Detroit police officers responded to the home on the report of shots fired. Detroit Police Chief James 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 DPSPD officer and then started firing upon Craig's officers. 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 suffered from mental illness, but Craig said there is nothing to confirm such. 

Police said there were seven guns registered to the residence on Lamont Street. The man did live in the home.  

Police: Officers did not return fire

Detroit police said officers never returned gunfire. 

"No shots were fired by the Detroit Police Department or any other agency," said Barren. 

Police did use gas to try to get the suspect out of the home, to no avail. The deputy chief said three rounds of a chemical agent were deployed. State police also deployed two flash bangs to try to get a response from the suspect, which also was not successful. 

'I will not be taken without a fight'

Chief Craig said the man inside the home made it clear he wanted to deliberately fight with law enforcement.

"The suspect was heard saying, 'I will not be taken without a fight,'" said Craig. 

During a news conference mid-Monday morning Craig said the suspect had not been spoken to since 2:30 a.m. Monday and remained barricaded inside the home. Craig said it was possible he could have been dead inside the home. 

"Based on his actions overnight, this is a very dangerous situation," he said. 

Detroit police and state police blocked off streets and roads in the neighborhood. Neighbors were instructed to shelter in place during the standoff and to stay away from windows. There were no evacuations ordered. 

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. 

Stay with ClickOnDetroit for updates. 

Watch Craig's full Monday morning news conference here: 


About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr.

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.