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Police identify man, woman found dead in home after shooting, 30-hour standoff in St. Clair Shores

Police say man fired shots at authorities

Two people were shot before a standoff that began July 4, 2019, in St. Clair Shores. (WDIV)

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. – Police have identified a man and a woman who were found dead Saturday inside a St. Clair Shores home after a fireworks dispute led to a shooting and a 30-hour standoff involving several police robots and a barricaded gunman firing at officers.

The gunman and the woman were found dead Saturday morning in the home near Saint Margaret Street and East 13 Mile Road, ending a police standoff that began Thursday night.

Police said Tom Ihlendfeldt, 58, got upset around 10 p.m. Thursday because his neighbors were lighting off fireworks for the Fourth of July.

Police blocked off the area near Saint Margaret Street and East 13 Mile Road due to a standoff that began July 4, 2019. (WDIV)

Authorities said Ihlendfeldt's neighbor was outside, enjoying the festivities with her niece, mother and other members of the family. They were lighting off fireworks and sparklers, officials said.

Ihlendfeldt went outside and got into an argument with his neighbor because he didn't like the noise and wanted them to leave, according to authorities. He went back to his home, came out with a laser affixed to a rifle, went back in to get another rifle and then started firing shots, officials said.

"He came back out with the laser beam again," his neighbor said. "He's aiming it. No one paid him any attention. At this point, he walks directly across the street, he puts his arm up and just starts firing at the kids. Then he starts firing when we were running, scattering, getting the kids in the house. Then, he opens fire again, started aiming at anyone who didn't make it in the house."

A fireworks dispute sparked a standoff that began on the Fourth of July in St. Clair Shores. (WDIV)

Two people were shot, according to authorities. A 62-year-old woman who didn't make it inside the house was shot in the calf, and a bullet went straight through the arm of a young girl, police said.

Ihlendfeldt then started randomly firing shots at other people and homes, according to authorities.

"When I called them, I'm telling them, 'This man is threatening to blow our brains out. He said he has a .44,'" his neighbor said. "(They said), 'Do you see a gun?' I said, 'No I don't.' (They said), 'Does he have it now?' I said, 'He says he's going to get it.' (They said), 'Well, where is he now?' I said, 'He's standing on his porch. Now he's walking toward us. He's aiming the gun. He's shooting. He's shooting.'

"They can hear it. He shot the door screens out. My mother was shot in her leg. My niece was shot in her arm."

While officials were trying to take care of the shooting victims, Ihlendfeldt started firing shots at the officers, according to authorities. That's when the shooting turned into a barricaded situation, police said.

Armed police officers involved in a stanoff in St. Clair Shores on July 5, 2019. (WDIV)

Family members told police Ihlendfeldt called them and said it would be the last time they would hear from him.

A robot was used to ram the front door repeatedly and enter the home, police said.

Michigan State Police Bomb Squad members brought in a second robot around 6:30 a.m. Friday. They said the second robot has better traction to get up the porch and through some of the debris that was created when police used the battering ram to bust out doors and windows.

The second robot went through the home to search for Ihlendfeldt or his body, police said. A third robot was also used, MSP officials said.

Michigan State Police used a robot to ram the door of the barricaded home. (WDIV)
A robot was sent to the barricaded home to search for the gunman. (WDIV)
A third robot used by police during a barricaded situation in St. Clair Shores. (WDIV)

The neighborhood was on lockdown for 30 hours, during which time nobody was allowed back inside their homes, police said. Anyone who was already inside nearby homes was told to stay away from doors and windows and go to the basement because Ihlendfeldt was randomly firing shots throughout the standoff, according to officials.

Police said an MSP robot got into the home and found Carol Baur, 60, dead inside. Authorities said it appeared she died from multiple gunshot wounds, but the autopsy results have not been revealed.

The robot discovered Ihlendfeldt had "taken up an offensive position in the basement," according to an MSP release. As the robot tried to identify his exact location in the basement, Ihlendfeldt fired several shots and completely disabled the robot, according to authorities.

Ihlendfeldt also fired several shots in the direction of officers with a high-powered rifle, officials said.

"Throughout the night, we've made contact with him," St. Clair Shores police Deputy Chief Gary Crandall said. "We've tried to get him to come out of the house and surrender on multiple occasions throughout the night. He shot at officers again, and officers' vehicles."

Medical officials said Ihlendfeldt died by suicide. He died from a single gunshot wound, according to authorities. Investigators are trying to determine when he died.

Neighbors said Ihlendfeldt lived at the home with his girlfriend.

Full coverage throughout standoff

6 a.m. Friday

6:30 a.m. Friday

6:50 a.m. Friday

Noon Friday

4 p.m. Friday

5 p.m. Friday

6 p.m. Friday

11 p.m. Friday

6 a.m. Saturday

7 a.m. Saturday

6 p.m. Saturday


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