'She sacrificed herself:' Family says woman died a hero in St. Clair Shores standoff

Carol Baur killed by man who was living at her home

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. - After a 30-hour siege on Saint Margaret Street in St. Clair Shores, a gunman took his own life, but not before killing Carol Baur.

It has been an unimaginable couple of days for Baur’s family. When the standoff started Thursday, they, like everyone on Saint Margaret Street, were trapped by a man with a gun who had become unhinged.

Tuesday night, they gathered outside the remains of Baur's home on Saint Margaret Street for a vigil with family and friends. They are in shock, emotionally gutted and in pain.

“First of all, I want to straighten out that Carol was not his girlfriend,“ Baur’s brother Kevin Spencer said.

The gunman, Tom Ihlenfeldt, had known Spencer's sister for years. She was allowing him to live in her home and share expenses. Only now are her children and siblings realizing the extent of the manipulation he was putting her through. They think Ihlenfeldt made it clear to her that if she made him leave, he would harm her family.

Thursday, when Ihlenfeldt started firing at neighbors across the street, it was Baur who intervened and tried to get him to stop. She got him in the house to force him to stop firing.

“Unfortunately, I think that was the end of her life by doing that. She sacrificed herself,” Spencer said.

Ihlenfeldt shot her multiple times, ultimately killing himself in a standoff with police that lasted 30 hours. Her friends and family are horrified that her name is now being mentioned in the same breath as his.

Nieghbors in St. Clair Shores gather to honor a woman killed during a standoff over July 4 weekend 2019. (WDIV)

Friends of the family have started a GoFundMe for funeral expenses and the family said anything that doesn’t go toward expenses will be donated to Turning Point and the Rainbow Connection -- charities that help women and children.

GoFundMeHonoring the loving memory & legacy of Carol Baur

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