Police: Suspect in Kalamazoo shooting, carjacking arrested

Posted at 11:20 AM, Jan 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-24 19:13:08-05

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The suspect in a morning crime spree that included a shooting, a school lockdown and a carjacking in Kalamazoo has been arrested.

"About 9:30 this morning, there was an armed robbery in the county at a Citgo," said Police Chief Jeff Hadley speaking to the media at Kalamazoo Public Safety headquarters. "From that location, a subject identified as a male, white, about 6'4 [and] 200 pounds came into the city of Kalamazoo."

Chief Hadley said the suspect drove to the 2500 block of Monterey and got in an 'altercation' with a family there.

"We’re unsure if he knew the family or it was some random encounter," said Chief Hadley. "During that encounter he fired shots [and] struck a female in the chest."

Family members say that shooting victim was Betty Jo Brewer, 49. Her husband says she is healing at the hospital and is alert and speaking.

The shooter bolted and hijacked a dark Chevy Malibu on Drake Road and Croyden Avenue, near Kalamazoo Central High School. The school, and others in the area, were put on lockdown.

"We do not believe that there was any threat, that he had any intention of going there," said Chief Hadley about the school. "Because of the magnitude of the situation and some of the dynamics, the unpredictability, that’s why the schools were put on lockdown."

A chase ensued minutes later, he said, with township police tailing the vehicle. Michigan State Police provided air support from a helicopter. He managed to evade them and later crashed the stolen vehicle 40 miles outside the city.

"A passer-by observed the crash and notified law enforcement that there was a vehicle crash at that location," said Chief Hadley. "Obviously with the vehicle description, putting two and two together, we believe that to be the subject."

Chief Hadley said the suspect was taken into custody without force. He's currently lodged at county jail and could be arraigned as early as Wednesday.

"Thankful that no one else got hurt," said Chief Hadley. "Thankful that no law enforcement got hurt. And our wishes are with the victim at Bronson hospital. Hopefully she makes a recovery."