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DeWitt Township police identify man who killed himself after armed standoff

The house on Mayfield Drive where the standoff took place
Posted at 8:17 PM, Mar 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 11:32:00-04

DeWitt Township police have identified the man who killed himself following an armed standoff with police on Friday as Christopher Ryan Lee, a 37-year-old veteran.

Police were called to the 1300 block of Mayfield Drive, where Lee lived, early Friday morning for a report of a man firing at the vehicle of a woman delivering newspapers.

DeWitt Township Police Chief Mike Gute said he was walking out of his house at 4 a.m. on Friday to get into work early when he got the call.

Armed standoff, DeWitt Township

"There was an individual that was delivering newspapers and had some shots fired at her vehicle from an unknown area, and an unknown source at the time. She had her vehicle struck once by a round, struck her in the driver/hood area..." Gute said. "She called 911. DeWitt Township officers did respond to the area at that time, upon arriving, heard additional gunfire coming from a high-powered rifle from the area."

That high-powered rifle turned out to be an AR-15. Police later found two in Lee's house. Gute said that Lee was outside his own residence and was firing at anything he could see.

"We did have a couple cars fired upon, not struck, a couple patrol cars...there was a lot of rapid gunfire," he said.

Armed standoff, DeWitt Township

Gute estimated there were a couple hundred rounds fired that day. Houses nearby were also struck, some rounds penetrated walls into the interior of the homes.

"There was another vehicle that was struck as well, that was in the neighborhood, so this wasn't somebody that was just shooting in the air. The rounds were being placed into specific areas," he said. "We got very lucky that day."

Gute said township police immediately called for the help of multiple agencies, including the Clinton County Sheriff's Office, Bath Township Police, Lansing Police Department, East Lansing Police Department and Michigan State Police.

In an attempt to establish negotiation, the Clinton County Special Operations Team called Lee on his cell phone around 4:30 a.m. The negotiation process went on for a couple of hours while Lee was outside and then in his garage, until Lee left his phone in his garage close to 6:30 a.m. and entered his home.

Jennifer Dusseau

That was right around the time that Jennifer Dusseau was waking up in her home on Northwood Drive nearby. She normally doesn't check her phone first thing in the morning. That morning she did.

"We have a NextDoor app that most of our neighbors are on and they were saying that they were not allowed to leave the house and to take cover. My husband was getting ready for work, my kids are about to get up for school, and I'm like, 'Well, we can't leave to go anywhere,'" Dusseau said. "And then we kept hearing all the noise. The helicopter was here all day long I think. They left for about an hour to refuel...I was listening on the scanner, which is great, because you just don't know what's going on."

Dusseau and her family didn't realize how close they were to the shooting until later.

Bullet found after armed standoff, DeWitt Township

"When we kind of figured out it was in our neighborhood, we were like, 'Whoa.' So at first it's like, 'OK, we're on the outskirts,' to 'Oh my gosh. Now it's right here.'" Dusseau said. "I was just worried about someone being loose more than anything. I know they had it under control, which is great that they did everything they could."

Gute said police tried "multiple different tactics used to try to bring this to a peaceful end, which is what we all want...and we did everything that we possibly could in 10 hours."

The Michigan State Police Bomb Squad ultimately sent in a remote-controlled robot with cameras and the ability to climb stairs.

The robot found Lee deceased in his bedroom at 2:45 p.m.

The DeWitt Township Police are still investigating why Lee might have started shooting that day.

Gute said the investigation should be wrapped up later this week.

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Russell Shellberg

5:49 PM, Jun 03, 2022

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Russell Shellberg

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