Motorist says police looking for serial shooter searched his car - KMSP-TV

Motorist says police looking for serial shooter searched his car

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By Taryn Asher
Fox 2 News Reporter


LIVONIA, Mich. (WJBK) -- Police searching for a serial shooter who has targeted cars, including ones traveling I-96, are questioning anyone who even comes close to matching a description of the suspect.  A local man shares his experience after being stopped.

Joel Johnson was pulled over at I-96 and Six Mile in Livonia last week.  He says he was treated like he was actually the suspect.

"I had no idea why I was getting pulled over," said Johnson.

Like any other Monday morning, Johnson left his Walled Lake house and headed for his workplace in Plymouth.  The shipping and receiving manager headed east on I-96, got off at Six Mile and noticed police flashing their lights.

"I had a green arrow to turn left, so I was quite confused," he explained.

Police say they stopped him for his tinted windows, but that's not why officers searched his black Chevy Cobalt.

"Before I had a chance to say anything, he said, 'Do you have any weapons in the vehicle?'  So I was like, 'No sir,'" Johnson said.

"Said, 'Will you please exit the vehicle?'  So I did, and as soon as I got out, he said put the hands on the vehicle and remain calm, still, don't make any sudden movements.  This is all for my protection."

Johnson was told he caught the attention of authorities because his black sedan looked similar to a vehicle possibly driven by the suspected shooter of the I-96 corridor.  The officer called for back up, searched Johnson and his vehicle.

"I thought it was a little much to be frisking me down, putting me on the side of the car and making me feel like a suspect," said Johnson.

Police are clearly not taking any chances as they search for the person who is said to be responsible for shooting at moving cars since October 16.  Cars have been struck in Oakland, Ingham, Shiawasse and Livingston counties, but only one motorist has been injured.

Investigators are reviewing nearly 2,800 tips looking for the suspect believed to be a white man in his late twenties or early thirties.  They think the gunman is from the area, one reason why Johnson's car registered to his wife's father in South Lyon had police taking a closer look.

Johnson calls the 35 minute ordeal inconvenient, but he's glad police are taking the proper precautions and hopes the real shooter is caught before it's too late.

"I think it's absolutely senseless and reckless.  I don't know why anyone would just literally shoot another person.  They don't have the right to take another person's life," he remarked.

Police have increased patrols.  The reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction is $102,000.  If you have any information, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

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