DETROIT (WJBK) - Three women killed, three police officers shot by suspect who then turned the gun on himself Monday.
"Here we are. Talking about another tragedy on so many levels," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.
The tragedy comes out of a 14-hour stand-off on Detroit's Lamont Street in the city's east side. Chaos erupted at about 10:30 Sunday night.
Sources say 49-year-old Lance Smith who has no criminal history, got into an argument with his live-in girlfriend, Cynthia Williams.
Police say then relatives of hers, who lived across the street, ran over to help 57-year-old off-duty DPS officer Freddie Wilson, his wife 61-year-old Patricia Wilson, and another woman, also a relative.
"The suspect fired an unknown number of rounds and basically attacked first the civilian victims..." said Craig. "And then begun firing on the off-duty DPS officer and responding DPD 11th precinct officers."
Freddie Wilson was shot in the leg as his wife, and that other woman were both shot to death. Two other Detroit police officers were also shot in the legs.
Police were pinned to the ground for an hour as shots continued to ring out from the house.
"He clearly expressed intent to do harm and he expressed an intention to hurt police officers," Craig said.
Detroit's special response team was able to pull the officers and victims away from the gunfire. Michigan State Police and its SWAT team, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and DPS also responded.
Officers tried to make contact with Smith, last heard from at 2 a.m. Monday with he and his girlfriend still inside.
"It was at that time we deployed our third volley of gas, he didn't respond," Craig said.
But police heard a couple of gunshots after that and, 10 hours later, used a robot to get a look inside and discovered the bodies of Smith and his girlfriend.
Questions are arising now about Smith's state of mind.
"For many reasons this is kind of an anomaly although one thing that a reporter, he may be suffering from some form of mental illness."
His family only told police that sometimes, he'd act peculiar and never expected a situation like this. Neighbors and friends were left stunned.
"You lose three family members in one day, it's unheard of," said neighbor Michael Brown.