DEARBORN (WWJ) – Michigan State Police officials say a 38-year-old man who barricaded himself inside a downtown Dearborn hotel room after fatally shooting a clerk with a long gun has been arrested.
Authorities had been asking the public to stay far away from the Hampton Inn on Michigan Avenue near Military Street, just east of Telegraph Road, for nearly eight hours while they negotiated with the suspect.
Dearborn Police confirmed earlier in the day that one person was shot and was taken to a hospital. In a 9 p.m. update, Dearborn Police Chief Issa Shahin said a 55-year-old Riverview man who "was just trying to do his job" was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The suspect's name and hometown have not been released, but the chief said he has a history of mental illness and drug abuse.
Shahin said there was a confrontation over the money sparked the deadly situation.
"There was a confrontation over the bill. I don't know if they were trying to evict him or otherwise a disturbance, but that's what originated the problem. He was upset about asking for a refund," Shahin said.
Shahin told reporters the shooting happened on the third floor of the hotel, but he couldn't disclose details of how many shots were fired or where exactly the shooting took place. He noted no shots were fired at police officers.
Michigan Ave. was closed to traffic between Military and Monroe, and the public was being told by police to stay away from the area. MSP officials said the area will remain closed while the investigation continues.
The initial 911 call came in just after 1 p.m. A little more than an hour later, MSP officials said shots were still being fired by the suspect, and troopers and officers were working on clearing the entire area around the hotel.
At around 3 p.m. Dearborn Police Cpl. Dan Bartok said that at least most of the hotel guests and staff had been safely evacuated. The negotiations ended peacefully with the suspect's arrest shortly before 9 p.m.
Shahin did not get into specifics as to what helped negotiators bring the situation to an end.
"I would implore him to please come out peacefully," Shahin said earlier in the day. "You know, nobody wants to see anybody else get hurt as a result of this incident. And I would just implore him to come out peacefully."
MSP First Lt. Mike Shaw said State Police were providing aviation support as well as support on the ground with the MSP Emergency Response Team.
"Our troopers are currently blocking off all of downtown Dearborn, slowly pushing people back," Shaw said during an afternoon briefing. "This is a dangerous situation. This person is still libel to shoot at people walking in this area, so I cannot say it enough: This is not a safe area, Do not come down to downtown Dearborn just to gawk It's no safe for you."
Stay tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for the latest details on this developing story. >>> LISTEN LIVE!