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Breaking News

Shooting Reported at Apartment for Elderly in Suburban Detroit

Aired April 18, 2000 - 2:20 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Our story of the afternoon that we are still getting details on as it develops is the shooting in Lincoln Park, Michigan. Last report, two dead, six hurt, the gunman still on the loose, some place inside this high-rise apartment building home to over 100 older citizens of Lincoln Park, Michigan.

We have CNN's Detroit bureau chief Ed Garsten, who is outside the Lincoln Park, Michigan police station right now with some more details.

Ed, the question I keep asking is: Is it over yet?

ED GARSTEN, CNN DETROIT BUREAU CHIEF: No, Lou, it certainly is not over yet. While we've been out here at the police station, they've been bringing people, they have been evacuating as many people as they possibly can from the high-rise building, where they can sit and relax and wait for relatives to bring them.

But we also have the opportunity to talk to the son and the stepson of the man believed to be the shooter, the man is believed to be Kenneth Miller, who the son and stepson tell us lived in the building for about a year. They say that, from what they understand, their father had a problem that two female residents of the building accused him of sexual harassment, and they were attempting to have him evicted from the building. There was some sort of meeting about that situation this morning; that he became very agitated and, they say, that's when they believe he began to start shooting.

They say that he had been taking medicine for depression and also painkillers, because of a bad back condition. They also tell us that he's a retired musician, he is a singer and a guitarist playing country music. They say he had been living there alone, had suffered from depression and was extremely agitated about the charges leveled against him.

And while they weren't going to speculate of who he might have targeted, if indeed he is the person that has done the shooting, they said that this is -- this is the situation that he became very, very angry about the possibility of being evicted from this building.

Lou, I can also tell you we spoke with someone who has evacuated within the last few minutes, she said that it was a bad situation in there, obviously. She saw blood on the stairs, she encountered one female victim who said that she was shot and needed help, and they proceeded to try to get this woman some help.

So, as you can imagine, we've seen some very upset residents that come here to the Lincoln Park Police Department. There is a several- block perimeter that has been blocked off around the building because this man is still at large. We've seen somebody poking his head through an upper window. We're not sure if that is the shooter or not, but Kenneth Miller's son and stepson say that he did live at approximately the floors that we've seen somebody looking out from.

It's still quite an unsettled situation, police are trying to keep the public as far away as possible because, obviously, with a high-rise building, in an area where there are no other high-rise buildings, any shooter would have an extreme dangerous advantage over anyone down on the ground -- Lou.

WATERS: Ed, we are getting some information about those charges against the man that you referred to; that they had a meeting at the complex this morning and that matters came to a head as some administrative officers or administrative types at the apartment complex confronted him with the charges?

GARSTEN: Well, that's what -- that's what Kenneth Miller's sons say as well, that there was a meeting to decide whether or not Miller would be evicted from the building, and charges and countercharges were apparently leveled at this meeting, and that's when he seemed to have become agitated and stormed out and began the shooting shortly thereafter.

WATERS: We understand that he left the meeting, retrieved a rifle is what we heard. But we also are heard from police that they recovering a number of weapons. Do we know anything about weapons, whether they were his weapons or just weapons inside the building, or what that was all about?

GARSTEN: No, Lou. At this point, the police are keeping those types of details to themselves. They have not been able to confirm anything like that or even to say how he might have obtained those weapons, whether they were his, or whether he got them from some other source.

WATERS: And because we understand some shots have been fired from the building to the outside, I imagine some security precautions have been taken around that apartment complex?

GARSTEN: Yes, Lou, there is at least a quarter-mile perimeter that has been set up around this building, it is the only high-rise building in the area. This is a blue collar working-class neighborhood with lots of little houses and low-level commercial districts. So anyone in the upper-level of this building would have quite a dangerous advantage over anyone on the outside. You could see for miles around from this building.

I had the opportunity several years ago to coincidentally have done a story in that building, so I can attest to the vantage point, and you can see for miles and miles around. So they want to keep people as far away as they possibly can. I do have to tell you that a lot of people are not heeding those warnings and they are trying to get as close to the limits of the perimeter as they can, and that is a foolish place to be.

WATERS: Certainly is. Ed Garsten, keeping track of the story in Lincoln Park, Michigan, just outside Detroit. The story isn't over yet, the shooter is still loose, at large, somewhere inside the building, has a weapon, has been firing. We'll continue following the story until it is over.

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