Dearborn police: Hampton Inn clerk killed by gunman with mental illness, history of drug abuse

One person is dead after a seven-hour standoff between Dearborn police and a gunman who was barricaded inside the Hampton Inn on Michigan Avenue Thursday. 

The standoff ended at 8:30 p.m. as police crisis negotiators were able to get the armed 38-year-old suspect - said to have a history of mental illness and drug abuse - to peacefully surrender. Dearborn Police Chief Issa Shahin says that the victim was a clerk at the hotel.

"Prior to our arrival, there was a shooting, a fatality. That individual was taken to the hospital where he was found to be deceased," Shahin said. "The victim, he was 55 years old from Riverview, who was just trying to do his job. My thoughts and prayers go out to that family. It's tragic."

The shooting was sparked by a confrontation over the bill on the hotel's third floor and the gunman wanted a refund, Shahin said.

"The … suspect has a history of mental illness and drug abuse," the chief said. "I've been a chief now for about nine months and far too often we're running into situations where people suffer from mental illness that are armed with firearms and the outcomes are often tragic. 

"There is a broader issue here than what is just happening in the city of Dearborn. The combination of mental illness and access to firearms."

The suspect did not fire on officers with his weapon but pointed his long gun and threatened police. It is unclear if the suspect was a legal firearms owner, police said.

"We had a team of officers who responded and when they were going up the hallway to make contact with him that is when he ducked into his room," Shahin said.

FOX 2 obtained a cellphone video of the police negotiating with the gunman, trying to get the suspect to come out.

"Sir, just step out into the hallway so that we can see you," the officer said. "Let us see your hands, first, and then come on out. Let's see your hands sir. Let us see your hands. Let us see your hands. We just want to talk. We just want to end this peacefully, get you some help, man."

At one point Dearborn firefighters broke a window to extricate some civilians from inside the hotel.  There were no other reported injuries to civilians or police, he added.

Shahin praised the "tireless work" of the crisis negotiators who worked for hours on the phone in achieving the surrender.

"I am proud of these officers and proud of this community," he said. "Unfortunately tragedy struck this city today, but we did our best to handle it."

Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud credited the police department for its response and asked for prayers for all those involved.

"Please pray for our police, our first responders and the families of the victim, as well as the suspect," he said. "We know there are broader issues at hand with the mental health crisis."

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Stay with FOX 2 for more information as it becomes available.