DEARBORN, Mich. – A gunman was taken into custody more than seven hours after he fatally shot a clerk at a hotel in Downtown Dearborn and then barricaded himself inside a room, police said.
Dearborn police Chief Issa Shahin said a 38-year-old man got into an argument around 1:09 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 6) at the Hampton Inn on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn.
“It was a confrontation over the bill,” Shahin said. “I don’t know if they were preparing to evict him for noise or a disturbance, but that’s what originated the problem. He was upset about asking for a refund.”
Shahin said the man, who was armed with a rifle, shot a clerk on the third floor of the hotel. The 55-year-old Riverview resident was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died from his injuries.
“He was just trying to do his job,” Shahin said.
Police were called to the scene, and when they arrived, the gunman barricaded himself inside a room.
“When we were going up the hallway to make contact with him, he saw our officers and ducked into his room,” Shahin said. “Then, you saw the protracted barricaded situation.”
The standoff lasted more than seven hours. In that time, police helped visitors and employees evacuate the scene. They also shut down Michigan Avenue and most of the downtown area.
“This is a dangerous situation,” Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said Tuesday afternoon. “This person is still liable to shoot at people walking in this area.”
At one point, Dearborn firefighters came to rescue some people who were still inside one of the hotel rooms. Shahin said police didn’t want to risk having the residents walk down the hallway, so firefighters broke out a window and took them to safety.
The gunman threatened officers many times, but didn’t shoot at them, according to the chief.
“He pointed the firearm, threatened officers with the firearm, but never fired it,” Shahin said.
Dearborn police Cpl. Dan Bartok said the man was taken into custody around 8:30 p.m.
“We’re pleased to announce that we have come to a peaceful conclusion to the incident tonight,” Bartok said.
Crisis negotiators spoke to the gunman and ultimately found a way to deescalate the situation. Shahin said the gunman has a history of mental illness and drug abuse.
Multiple police departments were involved. The investigation is still active.
You can watch the full police update below.