TAYLOR, Mich. — A man who fatally shot two workers at separate Detroit-area businesses and was possibly seeking a third was “on a planned killing spree,” a local sheriff said Thursday.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told reporters that — when arrested — the suspect was found with an AK-47 assault rifle and more than 200 rounds of ammunition and appeared to have a “hit list in his mind.”
“There were a couple tragedies today but there could have been many more,” Bouchard said. “He appeared to know exactly where he was going at each location and I suspect he was not done. Who knows where he may have been headed to next?”
The 45-year-old suspect was shot Thursday afternoon by police in Oakland County’s Waterford Township after getting into two shootouts with officers. He was being treated at a hospital. His name was not released.
The rampage started about 10:30 a.m. at BSD Linehaul, a trucking business southwest of Detroit in Taylor where the suspect once worked until losing his job in November.
He walked into the business and shot and killed one of the company’s current employees, authorities said. The suspect then left and carjacked one of the company’s semi-trailer cabs at gunpoint.
Taylor Police Chief John Blair described the man to WDIV-TV as “a disgruntled employee” who “came back for some sort of vengeance.”
About an hour later and 30 miles (48 kilometers) away, Eriverto Perez, 58, was shot as he sat at a desk at an aluminum stamping business in Pontiac, northwest of Detroit.
The suspect walked past other workers when he exited the building and drove to a trucking firm in nearby Waterford Township. He left that business when he could not find a person he was seeking, police said.
As police pursued the semi cab, the suspect stopped and shot at the officers before being wounded and sideswiping a car.
“When he left that Waterford business and was driving (the officers) were behind him with their lights and siren on,” Bouchard said. “He stopped the truck, shot at them, got back in the truck and continued to flee until the crash.”
Bouchard said that in situations like this a gunman “doesn’t care about anything or anyone after he’s already killed.”
“The situation, I believe, could have been tremendously worse,” he added. “Given the amount of ammunition and his preparation, I don’t think he was done.”
The suspect was facing assault with a deadly weapon and gun charges from an incident in December at the business in Taylor, Blair said.