PONTIAC, Mich. – Seven men have been arrested in connection with a string of drive-by shootings in Pontiac, police said.
Officials with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said a team of 15 detectives spent eight hours on the case Saturday, arresting seven men and likely preventing additional drive-by shootings.
“These extremely dangerous individuals needed to be taken off the street and held accountable,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “Attempting to apprehend one of the suspects shows how violent and dangerous they are. He rammed a police car while trying to flee and was in illegal possession of a loaded firearm. Most of them have prior illegal gun possession charges and yet they were still out on the street.”
All seven men who were arrested this weekend are believed to be connected to multiple drive-by shootings in Pontiac, according to officials.
Three of the men were linked to a Jan. 3 incident in a public parking lot near Wayne and Lawrence streets.
Three men were involved in another January shooting that took place a few blocks away from 50th District Court in Downtown Pontiac, according to police. During that incident, four men tried to ambush residents who were in a car, firing repeatedly while driving behind the Waterman Building on Saginaw Street, officials said.
“These are exactly the individuals who are causing large amounts of gun violence in communities across America,” Bouchard said. “Until it is re-established that possession and use of guns illegally will carry a stiff penalty, this violence will continue to grow.”
About four hours after that shooting, detectives located a gray minivan at a gas station. Four men whose clothing matched the descriptions from the shooting were inside, but they denied involvement and no charges were authorized at that time, police said.
On Saturday, detectives said they learned new information that linked Anthony Curry, Marcus Clark, Omario Pate and Immanuel Gates to the shooting.
Curry, 18, Clark, 20, and Pate, 18, were taken into custody Saturday from various locations around Pontiac, but detectives are still searching for Gates, 19.
Police said Curry tried to evade capture by driving away and ramming a police vehicle. A .40-caliber handgun was found in his vehicle, according to authorities.
Curry, Clark and Pate are each charged in 12-count felony warrants with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, carrying a concealed weapon, assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm while in the commission of a felony.
Curry and Clark have prior convictions for carrying a concealed weapon, officials said. Pate was on bond from Wayne County Circuit Court on the concealed weapons charge.
The trio were arraigned Wednesday (Nov. 17) at 50th District Court. Curry and Clark are being held at the Oakland County Jail without bond. Pate is being held on $1 million bond.
A probable cause conference is set for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 30, and a preliminary examination is scheduled for Dec. 7.
A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of Gates. He is considered armed and dangerous, police said. Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP to remain anonymous.