Oakland County Sheriff's Office: Panhandler shot, killed outside Pontiac business

Sheriff says suspect confesses to killing Pontiac panhandler following confrontation outside business

PONTIAC, Mich. - A man who was apparently panhandling in front of a Pontiac business has been shot dead, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office said.

In a statement about the incident, deputies said they found 33-year-old Nils Vickstrom unresponsive with a gunshot wound Sunday night at a gas station in the 700 block of Featherstone.

He was pronounced dead at McLaren Hospital.

Deputies followed a trail of the victim's blood to a nearby strip mall at University and Martin Luther King. They found bullet casings in the parking lot and were approached by a 35-year-old Troy man who confessed that he had shot the victim after a confrontation outside his business.

He was taken into custody.

The undersheriff says the suspect has a concealed weapons permit and has no criminal history. A supporter of the gunman says images from a security camera show self defense. However, investigators are looking for a better video.

"The one that fired the shots said he felt threatened," said Sheriff Michael Bouchard. "We're trying to determine what led to that conclusion."

Authorities haven't said whether the suspect will be charged. The Oakland County Prosecutor's Office is expected to review the case on Tuesday.

Vickstrom often was seen in the neighborhood. Earlier on Sunday, Auburn Hills police removed him from outside a gas station where he was begging and dropped him off at a restaurant.

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