Police chase ends in apparent suicide of driver

By Melissa Burnor
Three children were uninjured after the driver of a vehicle they were in led police on a low-speed chase that lasted nearly a half hour Friday afternoon. The driver of the vehicle allegedly shot and killed himself after stopping the vehicle possibly firing at police, including a Blissfield police officer, before turning the gun on himself.

According to information released Friday afternoon from the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office, a passing motorist reported a possible domestic assault in progress in a southbound vehicle on Crockett Highway south of Gorman Road. According to the press release, the woman was waving her arms and appeared to have blood on her face. The vehicle continued southbound and into Ohio. Meanwhile, Lenawee County dispatch put out a broadcast on the vehicle and alerted the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office whose officers spotted the vehicle and began pursuing it. The driver returned back across the state line and and Lenawee County began the pursuit on Thompson Highway. Blissfield Police also joined in the chase minutes later.

The pursuit, led by the county sheriff and a Blissfield Police officer along with troopers from the Michigan State Police, continued northerly through Riga, Ogden and Palmyra townships. Eventually the driver headed west on Deerfield Road, north on Parr Highway and then west on East Maumee Street in Madison Township.

According to the sheriff’s office, he pulled into a driveway on East Maumee Street, stepped out of the car and shot himself with the gun. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The female victim told police she observed the man fire shots at police officers before shooting himself. Two spent shell casings were found at the scene. No officers were injured and they did not fire their weapons, according to Sheriff Jack Welsh.

During the pursuit. officers determined there were three children in the car. The woman in the vehicle had been assaulted. She had minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

The Lenawee Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Blissfield Police, the Michigan State Police, Adrian Police, Madison Township Police, Madison Township Fire Department and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office. A helicopter ambulance was also dispatched to the scene.