West Bloomfield Shooting Suspect May Have Been Headed for Divorce
Neighbors spend night at West Bloomfield Township Hall.
The shooter believed responsible for killing a West Bloomfield Police officer and hitting several others may have been going through a divorce, Township Clerk Cathy Shaughnessy said Monday.
The suspect is still unnamed and believed to be barricaded in a house in a West Bloomfield subdivision near Halsted and Pontiac Trail and was firing shot as late as this morning.
Patrick O'Rourke, a 12-year veteran of the West Bloomfield force and 1991 Hartland High School graduate, was shot and killed Sunday night as he and others were responding to shots fired at the house 4000 block of Forest Edge.
According to Shaughnessy, the officers heard one shot fired and thought it was a possible suicide as they entered the home.
"... they thought a man had killed himself. They went upstairs and got no response and the suspect fired many shots, possibly from a semi-automatic weapons," she said.
The officer's body has been removed from the scene. O'Rourke was a married father of four. He is a 1991 graduate of Hartland High School and later moved to the Fenton area.
Late last night family members were taken from the residence as well as other neighbors. About 30 of them without friends and relatives in the area spent the night at the township hall, she said.
The area of Halsted and Pontiac Trail remains an active crime scene, with a mobile command unit, including a Michigan State Police bomb squad and an Oakland County Sheriff's Office helicopter.
Sheriff deputies are escorting people in and out of the area, but others are being kept a distance away.
Colleen Austin, with Salvation Army, said she is one the scene to provide provisions to law enforcement on the scene.
She is among those who heard a round of gun shots about 9 a.m. today.
"Well, me, I was surprised, but the (police) are well prepared and they are doing all they need to do," she said.
She said there's a lot of "nervous folks" at the scene. "Neighbors have been evacuated and police are doing a good job," she said.