Family identifies man fatally shot by Waterford police

Police say man pulled shotgun on officers

WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Family members have identified the man fatally shot by police Friday morning in Waterford Township as 56-year-old Steven Ballard. 

Family members say Ballard, of Fenton, was bipolar and assaulted his 81-year-old mother. His brother said Ballard called him and threatened that he was going to shoot him. 

Police said they got a call about 4 a.m. Friday about a domestic violence situation in the 6700 block of Whysall Road in Bloomfield Township. Police in Bloomfield Township said they got the call about 3:47 a.m. about a 56-year-old man assaulting his 81-year-old mother. They put out a BOL, or "be on the lookout" alert, for other departments to help catch the suspect and the suspect's vehicle. 

Steven Ballard (WDIV)

The suspect also was making threats toward a family in Waterford Township, police said. Police removed that Waterford family from a home for protection. 

Waterford Township police then spotted the suspect driving a BMW about 4:25 a.m. A chase ensued in a circle around Barkman Drive near Clintonville Road. 

"He planned to come here and shoot up a resident with a shotgun, those were his words," said Waterford Township police Chief Scott Underwood. 

According to police, officers cornered the man and he pointed a shotgun at them. Underwood said they had no choice but to fire at him. 

Witnesses see police chase

Robert Green, who lives in the Waterford neighborhood, said he witnessed police chasing the BMW. 

"At first he wasn't really going that fast. But then the second time around, yes, he started driving pretty erratically and once they cornered him it was just a few seconds later that I heard the gunshots," said Green. 

Underwood said the chase did not start until the suspect was in Waterford Township. 

Police confirmed the suspect was killed in the shooting after pulling a shotgun on officers. The man was being chased in a circle on Barkman Drive before police cornered him.

"It appears, preliminarily, that there was a shotgun pointed at one of the officers, our officers returned fire before they were shot, and the suspect is deceased," said Underwood. 

Officers shot before suspect could

Police said officers had no choice but to fire at the man after he pulled the gun on them. They shot him before he was able to shoot at them. 

"As officers approached, they ordered him to show his hands. The suspect did not comply, raised a shotgun while still seated in his vehicle and pointed it at one of the officers," reads a statement from the Waterford Township Police Department. 

Two Waterford Township police officers were treated for non-life threatening injuries. A handgun was also recovered from the suspect’s vehicle, police said. 

The Oakland County Sheriff's Department is handling the investigation. Meanwhile, the officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave. 

About the Authors:

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

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.