By Mitchell Willetts
The Charlotte Observer
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DETROIT — A Michigan man was shot and killed by police after he’s accused of opening fire on a patrolling helicopter and officers on the ground.
A police helicopter was hovering over Detroit around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24, when the pilot noticed a bright green light pointing into the cockpit, Michigan State Police said in a news release.
Someone was flashing a laser at the crew from the second story of a home below, police said, apparently harassing them.
Helicopter and airplane pilots are often targeted with laser pointers and similar devices which can temporarily blind them, putting them and anyone on board in danger. It can also result in criminal charges for those responsible.
The helicopter called it in and reported the location, police said.
But moments later, harassment gave way to gunfire, with bullets flying at the helicopter from where the laser was aiming.
Officers headed to the address and came under fire as they approached on foot, police said. Police shot back, killing the suspect.
Based on evidence at the scene, police believe the suspect may have lured officers to the home in order to ambush them, MSP Lt. Michael Shaw told WDIV.
“He had a rifle staged at one of the windows as if this was some type of ambush that he had set up,” Shaw said, adding that guns and ammo were found in several locations throughout the home.
Officials did not say if the helicopter was hit, but it was forced to land at an area airport, WXYZ reported.
An investigation is underway.
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