LUNA PIER, Mich. – A suicidal gunman who led police on a chase Thursday morning before becoming barricaded inside a vehicle on southbound I-75 for nearly six hours is in custody, Michigan State Police said.
The interstate was shutdown between South Otter Creek Road and Luna Pier Road. State police said the interstate would open soon after they took the 37-year-old Pontiac man into custody without incident. Northbound was reopening first and southbound I-75 was closed a little longer while police removed the suspect's vehicle from the roadway.
Both directions of the interstate are now open to traffic, but drivers were advised they might still encounter delays Thursday afternoon.
The I 75 suspect is in custody. No injuries to suspect, public or police. We will open the freeway as soon as possible.— MSP Metro Detroit (@mspmetrodet) August 10, 2017
Man surrenders peacefully
State police said the man was armed and a gun was recovered after he surrendered. Police were searching the vehicle for a possible second firearm.
"At this time he is being evaluated by medical personnel. There is no visible sign of injury, but we want him evaluated before he is sent to the Monroe County Jail. He will be facing charges of resisting arrest and fleeing and eluding here in Monroe County," said Lt. Tony Cuevas, of the Michigan State Police.
Police said a negotiator was able to talk the man into surrendering peacefully.
"I understand the inconvenience to the motorists, but life safety is a more important issue to us," Cuevas said.
Cuevas said they were prepared to negotiate as long as it took to reach a peaceful resolution.
The Monroe County Prosecutor's Office confirmed the man is charged with fleeing and eluding and resisting arrest, both felony crimes.
There were no injuries in the chase or the standoff.
Chase started in Oakland County
Oakland County Sheriff's deputies originally responded to a 911 call about a suicidal man in Pontiac. Deputies found the man parked in a parking lot and tried to make contact with him. He fled and led them on a chase south on I-75. Michigan State Police vehicles joined the chase at Gibraltar Road and continued south into Monroe County.
The man's vehicle was disabled by police using spike strips on southbound I-75 near Gaynier Road, where he was in the standoff with officers for nearly six hours. Police shut down a stretch of northbound I-75, too, as a safety precaution. Cuevas said the northbound side had to be shutdown for safety.
Threats on Facebook Live
The man began brandishing a handgun and streaming live on Facebooknt during the chase. He was making threats against police officers, saying he would kill them or himself, police said.
State police said they were working to reach a peaceful resolution Thursday morning. They were actively seeking felony charges against the man.
"We're trying to negotiate his peaceful surrender," Cuevas said at the time. "We're here to help him, not to hurt him."
Deputies from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office stopped the man's car on southbound I-75 near Gaynier Road by using stop sticks to deflate his vehicle's tires.
He was eventually taken into custody without incident about 11:30 a.m. Thursday.