Waterford police fatally shoot domestic violence suspect who led officers on chase

Police say man pulled gun on officers

WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Waterford Township police fatally shot an armed man Friday morning in a neighborhood in the area of Barkman Drive and Clintonville Road. 

Police sources confirm that there was a police chase of an alleged domestic violence suspect in the area. Witnesses said they heard several gunshots and that someone was taken from the scene in an ambulance.

Police said this started as a domestic violence situation about 4 a.m. Friday in Bloomfield Township. The suspect 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. 

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

Witnesses see police chase

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

"We hope that this doesn't happen again. We kind of live on a dead-end street here, and yeah I was fearing what would happen at the end of this thing," said Green. 

No other injuries have been reported. 

The Oakland County Sheriff's Department is handling the investigation.

Family identifies suspect as 56-year-old Steven Ballard

Family members identified the man fatally shot by police as Steven Ballard, 56. They said he was bipolar and tried to assault his mother. 

Ballard's brother said he called him and threatened that he was going to shoot him. 

Steven Ballard (WDIV)
A man was fatally shot by police in Waterford on June 29, 2018. (WDIV)

About the Author:

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.