UPDATE: MSP: Monday's Incident Likely Not A Shooting

By: Lindsay Veremis Email
By: Lindsay Veremis Email

The reward leading to the arrest of the man shooting at cars along I-96 is now up to $102,000, after what was initially thought to be another shooting Monday morning on U.S. 23.

The incident closed a portion of the freeway, near I-96, so State Police could investigate. Helicopters and K-9s were called in. The case also put Brighton area schools on lockdown.

Police don't believe it was a bullet shattered a woman's windshield, rather a rock or another projectile. Officers are sending her car to the MSP crime lab to confirm that.

In the meantime, police are urging drivers on the 96 corridor to take a collective breath.

They say investigators are actively hunting for the gunman, using state, local and federal resources.

"We're going to get this guy and we're going to bring him into custody," Lieutenant Michael Shaw, with MSP said.

Nerves are fraying fast in the four counties the gunman has hit. A total of 25 shootings have been reported, with one injury. A 46-year-old Delton man was hit Saturday in the left buttocks.

"Not a whole lot you can do," Mike Hootman of Brighton said. "People do seem a little on edge, especially with the numbers going up."

Hootman lives in the thick of Monday's investigation, just steps from U.S. 23 south where a woman reported her windshield shot out. He didn't hear or see anything odd Monday, but says it was unnerving to find police at his door. They were interviewing neighbors about the possible shooting.

Police have made no arrests in the highway shootings, but in an unrelated traffic stop, did pull over a man driving a dark-colored sedan. That's the same type of vehicle investigators believe the shooting suspect is driving.

According to police, the man was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is not the highway shooter, but was arrested on other outstanding warrants.

A multi-jurisdiction task force continues to work on suspect leads. It has narrowed its focus to a few specific areas, but would not disclose those to protect the investigation.

Police are asking drivers to be vigilent and cautious, but not to change their habits.

"We want people to be concerned, but we're getting reports of people pulling their children out of school and certain things, none of these incidents have occured near a school," Shaw said.

The task force has received more than 600 tips so far. Police say every one of them will be investigated. Anyone with information that may help police should call 1-800-SPEAK UP.

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