Dearborn businesses return to normal after standoff with active shooter

Posted at 5:40 PM, Oct 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-07 17:40:07-04

DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) — Downtown West Dearborn is back open Friday after being shutdown Thursday due to an active shooter at the Hampton Inn.

The situation sent the entire area into lockdown and left one hotel employee dead.

Police say the 38-year-old suspect was armed with a rifle and suffered from mental illness and substance misuse. He’s now in the custody of Dearborn police and is expected to be arraigned in the coming days.

Inside Gentlemen First Barbershop a few doors from the hotel, it’s back to business as usual. But some of the conversation Friday is focused on the chaotic scene just 24 hours earlier.

"I was driving down Michigan Avenue when I saw cop cars,” owner Michelle Jones told a client during a haircut. "It was pretty scary."

When the standoff started, Jones had just left to run to the bank. Her employee was in the midst of an appointment with a client.

"I was worried. I really just wanted to get her out of here,” Jones said. "I was in a panic because I couldn't get here.”

The barbershop, along with countless other Dearborn business, closed down as federal, state and local authorities blocked the streets. Guests from the hotel were also evacuated. A nearby school went into a soft lockdown.

“It was a pretty serious situation," Jones said. "I'm getting calls from other business owners (saying), 'Are you guys OK down there?'”

After more than five hours, a guest still on the third floor had to be rescued by the fire department from a window. When the suspect finally surrendered after seven hours, he was taken into custody. Police say he shot and killed a 55-year-old hotel employee.

7 Action News tried learning more about the 38-year-old suspect. City officials said he was from Detroit and his name will be released after arraignment in the coming days.

“We had to cancel the rest of our day. We couldn’t work, we just had to stay away,” Jones said.

Jones had to reschedule much of Thursday’s appointments. It's a minor issue, she says, compared to what happened 24 hours before.

“That's very little inconvenience to what happened to that poor gentleman over at the hotel,” Jones said.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Hampton Inn said:

"We can confirm that we lost one of our associates yesterday in a tragic incident with an individual described by the local authorities as suffering from mental health issues. Contrary to what was previously reported, we further can confirm with absolute certainty that this issue was not related to any invoice dispute or refund. The Dearborn Police Department arrived within moments of being called, and we would like to express our deepest gratitude to them, the fire department and everyone else involved for their professionalism and valiant efforts to defuse what became an hours-long standoff with the suspect. We continue to work together with the authorities as their investigation continues. As this is an on-going police case, we must refer any additional questions to the Dearborn PD. Our heartfelt condolences go out to everyone involved, particularly the family of our beloved associate, whom we very much consider one of our own."