Police Kill Man Lasing, Shooting at Helicopter

 - January 26, 2023, 1:16 PM
A 33-year-old Detroit man who opened fire on a state police helicopter was later fatally shot by officers on the ground. (Photo: Screenshot from Michigan State Police Trooper 2 helicopter video)

Tuesday night Michigan State Police (MSP) shot and killed a man who first lased, and then later shot at, the department’s Trooper 2 helicopter in northwest Detroit. Video from the Bell 206L-3 showed the man pointing a green laser at the helicopter from a second-story rear window at the home near the city’s notorious I-96 drug corridor. Moments later he entered the backyard with a high-power rifle and opened fire several times in the direction of the helicopter. The shots appeared to miss. 

On audio from the helicopter, a trooper can be heard on the radio saying, "He might be armed, he almost looks like he's holding a long gun pointed at us right now…yeah, he’s shooting at us right now.” Trooper 2’s crew requested ground units to respond to the scene. When they did, the shooter opened fire on them. Officers on the ground returned fire, killing the 33-year-old suspect.  

The incident occurred just after 7:30 p.m. local time and remains under investigation. The MSP has been increasingly involved in fighting the city’s illegal drug trade on the ground and in the air. It operates a fleet of four helicopters. In 2021, two Flint men were arrested after allegedly shooting at another MSP helicopter.