Shooting victim dies; police seek suspect
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Editor's note: Witnesses' names have been removed from this article while the suspect is at large.
Police were searching Wednesday evening for a gunman hours after he fatally shot a man in broad daylight in the street on the east side of Ypsilanti.
The shooting occurred shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday on South Grove Street near South Street, police said.
Witnesses said the victim was walking down Grove Street when the shooting occurred, and the shooter fired several shots. The victim was lying in a bike lane on the street following the shooting, witnesses said.
Ypsilanti police Sgt. Thomas Eberts confirmed the man, who was about 29 or 30 years old, had died. Police have not released any other information about him, including his name.
Witnesses at the scene said the shooter had been hiding behind a tree when the victim came down the street, but police have not yet confirmed that.
Huron Valley Ambulance spokeswoman Joyce Williams said paramedics took the victim to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Superior Township in critical condition.
A resident who was in his apartment on Grove Street told AnnArbor.com he heard two shots in rapid succession, then a pause and four or more shots.
“I thought it was a firecracker at first,” he said. “I saw the guy running away. I didn’t get a good look at his face. “
A man who was painting in an apartment in the neighborhood Wednesday afternoon said he had stepped outside for a break and was standing in the driveway on the phone with his daughter when he heard the shots.
“(My daughter) thought I was getting shot at," he said. "That’s how loud it was."
He said he was out of view of the street when the shots sounded, so he didn't see the incident, but he did see a man running away from the scene.
“I came down the driveway. Before I was even to the end, I saw a guy running (north),” he said. “Automatically, I started following him. He was not running hard, but he was running trying to get away.”
He described the fleeing suspect as a black man about 6 feet 4 inches tall, weighing about 240 pounds. He said he was wearing dark jeans, a dark black or blue hooded sweatshirt and a light blue do-rag.
“He was a big guy. That’s why he couldn’t run fast. He was totally exhausted,” he said.
At some point, the man who was giving chase looked back and saw the victim.
“I finally turned around and saw a guy in a red jacket laying next to the road,” he said.
The man said he continued chasing the suspect north on Grove through buildings and across Michigan Avenue. At the same time, police responding to 911 calls were arriving on the scene. He waved down police, who immediately put him in the back of the car because they were concerned for his safety.
“The guy didn’t even know I was following him,” he said. “When I got into the cop car is when I lost visual sight of the guy.”
He said he last saw the suspect in the parking lot near Marsh Plating on the corner of Michigan and North Grove Street. Police dogs searched the area soon afterward, but did not locate the suspect, he said
Eberts said police are continuing to investigate the matter.