Man in fatal Waterford police shooting identified by family
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 said Ballard was in crisis Thursday night and was threatening to kill family members, and he wanted to die by provoking a lethal response from law enforcement.
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.
The man 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 Ballard driving a BMW about 4:25 a.m. A chase ensued in a circle around Barkman Drive near Clintonville Road.
Debbie Sheppard watched as police pursued the driver of this blue bmw around quiet Barkman Circle over and over early Friday morning -- then she ducked when she heard multiple gunshots.
"They said 'Get your hands up. Get your hands up.' and then I heard five or six shots," Sheppard said.
"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.
"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," read a statement from the Waterford Township Police Department.
Steven Ballard's brother, Todd Ballard, said Steven was a successful salesman, but suffered from bipolar disorder. He lost his wife and two daughters in a divorce.
Family said Steven Ballard had two job interviews Thursday and didn't get either job. In a rage, he ransacked his mother's home in West Bloomfield and beat her before calling his brother and threatening him.
"He called here at about 4 a.m. and said he was coming over to kill me," Todd Ballard said. "He had a shotgun and I called police."
Waterford Police officers said they escorted the Ballard family away from the area for safety and waited for Steven Ballard to arrive, which led to the pursuit and the fatal shooting.
The mother is believed to be okay.
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