night vision mode view of man on ground pointing long gun at Michigan State Police helicopter
A 33-year-old Detroit man who opened fire on a state police helicopter was later fatally shot by officers on the ground. (Photo: Screenshot from Michigan State Police Trooper 2 helicopter video)

Detroit Resident Killed After Lasing, Shooting at Aircraft

Officers on the ground fatally shot a man who had opened fire on a state police helicopter.

Michigan State Police (MSP) shot and killed a man who first lased, and then later shot at, the department’s Trooper 2 helicopter in northwest Detroit on January 24. Video from the Bell 206L-3 showed the man pointing a green laser at the helicopter from a second-story rear window at the home near the city’s notorious I-96 drug corridor. Moments later, he entered the backyard with a high-power rifle and opened fire several times in the direction of the helicopter. The shots appeared to miss. 

On audio from the helicopter, a trooper can be heard on the radio saying, "He might be armed, he almost looks like he's holding a long gun pointed at us right now…yeah, he’s shooting at us right now.” Trooper 2’s crew requested ground units to respond to the scene. When they did, the shooter opened fire on them. Officers on the ground returned fire, killing the 33-year-old suspect.  

The incident occurred just after 7:30 p.m. local time and remains under investigation. The MSP has been increasingly involved in fighting the city’s illegal drug trade on the ground and in the air. It operates a fleet of four helicopters. In 2021, two Flint men were arrested after allegedly shooting at another MSP helicopter.