Manhunt for Assault Suspect Puts Neighborhood on Lockdown, Ends Deadly

Posted at 10:48 PM, Aug 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-07 22:48:16-04

RUTLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich.- Police, Special Response Teams and a helicopter flew overhead looking for the man police suspected of assaulting an 82-year-old woman and holding her captive in her home Monday and Tuesday.

Police say 34-year-old Michael Cooley stole her car, which was found in the Rutland Township area Tuesday afternoon.  That neighborhood was put on lockdown for hours as police searched the armed man.

Police say they found a track, K-9 units followed and a perimeter was set.

“He was in the woods on the edge of a field and a tree line.  They (police) went in with shields and found him lying there,” Lt. Chuck Christensen of the Michigan State Police said.

The Emergency Response Unit moved in on the man, who they believe to be Cooley.

“They heard a gunshot go off and ultimately we found a person deceased back in the area.  At this point it appears the gunshot was self-inflicted,” Christensen said.

The manhunt had the quiet Barry County community terrified through most of the afternoon after police the suspect broke into a home stealing a gun.  They say it was a phone call that led them there.

“Suspect apparently made some statements to the person that called police and that led us to believe that he may be our suspect,” Chief Jerry Sarver of the Hastings Police Department said.

Police say Cooley cut his tether off several days ago.  He was on probation for cocaine charges and uttering and publishing.  He also had prior larceny convictions.

Police are now working on a positive identification.