By SUE SUCHYTA
DEARBORN – A 38-year-old gunman with mental health issues surrendered and was arrested after a 7-hour standoff at the Hampton Inn that began when he fatally shot an employee over a refund.
Dearborn police, working with the Michigan State Police and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, blocked off an area on Michigan Avenue near Military Street shortly after 1 p.m. for more than seven hours while they negotiated with the gunman.
The Hampton Inn employee who was shot, a 55-year-old Riverview man, was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Dearborn Police Chief Issa Shahin said the suspect had a known history of mental illness and drug abuse.
“I have been a chief now for about nine months, and far too often we are running into situations where people suffer from mental illness and have firearms and the outcomes are often tragic,” he said.
Shahin said the shooting took place on the third floor of the hotel, and said that no shots were fired at police officers.
By 3 p.m., most of the hotel guests were evacuated. The Dearborn Fire Department used a high ladder truck to break out a window on the third floor and evacuate a guest whom police officials felt could not safely be evacuated through the hallway.
In addition to trained negotiators, relatives of the suspect were brought to the scene to help with the negotiation efforts.
Mayor Abdullah Hammoud recognized the professionalism of the Dearborn Police Department, and thanked the Michigan State Police and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office for its assistance.
He also asked those in power to do something about the easy accessibility of firearms.