Man Winds Up Dead After Allegedly Pointing Green Laser, Then Firing at Police Helicopter
In the United States of 2023, dumb criminals and skyrocketing crime rates are, unfortunately, not novel phenomena.
In Detroit, however, they coalesced in a profoundly depressing way this week, leading to Michigan State Police troopers shooting and killing an armed man living in an abandoned house.
Why? Because he allegedly pointed a laser at, then shot at, a police helicopter.
WXYZ-TV reported that the man was “holed up inside the second floor of a home where the shots were fired.”
It’s unclear why the 33-year-old man, who has not been named, targeted the helicopter, according to the New York Post. It’s also unclear whether police were looking for him.
What is known is that the helicopter was circling Detroit’s west side at roughly 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday when the incident occurred.
“We got somebody hitting us with a green laser on the rear of the house, upper window,” the pilot of the helicopter can be heard saying in footage of the incident.
The door of the house then opened, and the suspect emerged and could be seen pointing something at the helicopter.
“He might be armed. He almost looks like he’s holding a long gun pointed at us right now,” the pilot continued. “Yeah, he’s shooting at us right now.”
Police said that when they approached the house from the ground, the suspect fired at them. The state troopers returned fire, killing him.
The two troopers who shot the suspect are on leave pending an investigation. No names have been given.
As for the officers in the helicopter, neither they nor the aircraft itself were hit.
Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw told reporters that officers had “cleared the house for safety purposes before and found multiple weapons and ammunition stashes in the home as if it was set up for some sort of ambush or security purposes or whatever.”
Just to be clear, aiming a laser at a police aircraft — or any aircraft, for that matter — is already enough to get you in a heap of trouble.
As ABC News noted after a similar incident involving a Customs and Border Patrol helicopter hovering over Detroit in 2020, shining a laser into the cockpit of an aircraft is a federal crime.
If charged and convicted to the full extent of the law, perpetrators can face up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
Of course, pointing a laser at a police helicopter isn’t quite as maniacal as pointing a gun at said helicopter and then shooting it — and then shooting at police who subsequently come to make an arrest.
In that case, what allegedly happened here is what will almost always end up happening: The suspect will end up dead.
It’s tragic. Surprising? No. We live in an America, after all, where criminals are dumb and brazen enough to try to sell stolen cars on Facebook. The phenomenon is darkly funny, in its own twisted way.
This, meanwhile, is just a dispiriting sign of how out of control crime is in this country — particularly in big, Democrat-run cities like Detroit.
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