Manhunt for Eastpointe murder, meningitis case reported at frat parties, Rick Wershe secures woman's release

A manhunt is underway following a double shooting in Eastpointe that left one man dead and another woman in critical condition.

Eastpointe police named Dennis Evans as a suspect involved in the shooting, although the details leading up to the deadly interaction are still unknown. 

According to police, the incident took place around 4:30 p.m. on Thursday at a residence near 10 Mile and Gratiot. 

The shooting prompted police to shut down the area for hours to investigate.

Evans was last seen driving a 2019 KIA Optima with a license plate number EBH 5813. He's considered armed and dangerous and the public should not approach him. 

However, police would like anyone who spots Evans to get in touch with them. 

The female victim who was shot in the stomach is recovering from surgery, but remains in critical conditions. 

Meningitis case identified in Ann Arbor, East Lansing

County health departments in Ingham and Washtenaw are investigating a case of meningococcal meningitis and making antibiotics available to anyone who was exposed in the past week. An individual who attended multiple fraternity parties at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University was diagnosed with the rare but potentially dangerous infection.

Health officials within the government and at both universities are now working to notify any close contacts with the infected individual, who was first diagnosed on Jan. 26. "This is not an outbreak and risk to the larger community remains low, but meningococcal meningitis is a very serious illness," said Juan Luis Marquez, MD, MPH, medical director with the Washtenaw County Health Department. 

The individual attended an event at Delta Kappa Epsilon in Ann Arbor on Jan. 20. They were also present for an off-campus event in East Lansing at Club Rush, which was hosted by Sigma Beta Rho. Any individuals that were possibly exposed to the infection are encouraged to seek antibiotic treatment to prevent disease. The treatment prophylaxis should be taken within 14 days of exposure regardless of vaccination.

Meningitis spreads through one's oral and nasal areas, moving through saliva or mucus. Anyone who was coughed or sneezed on, was kissed, or shared the same food or drinks, are considered exposed. Anyone who does exhibit symptoms connected to meningitis should seek treatment as soon as possible, health officials recommend. Symptoms include a sudden onset of fever, headache, stiff neck, vomiting, rash, or confusion.

Liquor store clerk killing suspect arraigned

The 23-year-old man accused of shooting and killing liquor store clerk Benham Rasho faced a judge Thursday. De'vante Howard is charged with murder, armed robbery, assault and felony firearm.

"We’ve got some peace of mind now knowing the killer is off the streets, because we don’t want him doing this to anybody else’s family," said Rasho's son Jonathan. Behnam Rasho was married to his wife Elshwa for more than 30 years, they shared four children and two grandchildren.

The life they made together, forever changed. "I lost my husband, he’s not coming back again. I can’t live life without him," Elshwa said. Rasho was murdered last week during an armed robbery at Andy’s Market on the Lodge Service Drive near Greenfield Road in Detroit.

Assistant Police Chief Charles Fitzgerald says a tip from the public pointed investigators in the right direction –culminating in Howard’s arrest late last week. "You’re just not going to hide from us," Fitzgerald said. "When you commit a senseless crime like that, a brutal attack on a man who is just trying to do his job and go home, we will find you."

Highland Park detective pleads guilty to dealing heroin

A Highland Park police detective and an accomplice pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute fentanyl-laced heroin, said the US Attorney's Office Thursday. Detective Tiffany Lipkovitch, 46, of Detroit, and Amber Bellamy, 38, of Detroit, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute controlled substances. Lipkovich has been a police officer since 2011.

Lipkovitch and Bellamy both face a maximum of 40 years in prison for the charge to which they pled guilty. According to the complaint, federal agents recorded numerous calls and meetings between Lipkovitch and a confidential source about a drug transaction. Lipkovich gave the source "samples" or "pictures" of the drugs that were available from her associate, Bellamy, explaining that one was "$80 a gram" and the others were $100 per gram.

When Lipkovitch asked what they were diluting or "cutting" the drugs with, the confidential source responded that people used "fentanyl." This did not surprise Lipkovitch, who explained that Bellamy was getting "a package of fentanyl . . . from overseas."

Lipkovitch eventually introduced the confidential source to Bellamy, who sold the source 45 grams of a fentanyl and heroin mixture. The confidential source later met with Lipkovitch, who was on duty and in her police uniform, about the transaction, and gave her $300 for facilitating the drug deal.

Rick Wershe helps secure release of Michigan woman imprisoned on drug offenses 

A Michigan woman whose been in prison since 2003 on non-violent drug offenses is free after her sentence was commuted. Tracy Cowan, 60, was sentenced to up to 40 years in prison after cocaine, marijuana, and guns that were part of her boyfriend's drug dealing operation were found in her home.

"God, my angels, my family, I thank everybody," Cowan said as she was released from the Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Pittsfield Township. Rick Wershe, who spent decades in prison on drug charges, worked with lawmakers to secure her release.

"She was a non-violent drug offender. She's been in here almost 19 years, so we came to get her with her daughters and her family, so it's pretty exciting," Wershe said. "I was given a second chance, so I want to help them get a second chance."

Now that she's free, Cowan and Wershe are going to work together to give back to the community. "Over incarceration, over punishment, that's what we're going to work on together – people that shouldn't be incarcerated for as long as they are," Wershe said. Cowan reunited with her children Thursday. Her sentence came after their father, notorious drug lord Richard "Maserati Rick" Carter was murdered by a rival gang in 1988.

What else we're watching

  1. The Detroit Historical Society has a special exhibit showing off miniature models of ships that roamed the Great Lakes at its Dossin-based museum. The models will be on display from Jan. 28 to May 8.
  2. A community already on edge in Oxford was forced to manage a security breach Thursday when a student who was suspended for bringing a deer head into the school returned to the building without authorization. They were escorted out by the sheriff's deputies. 
  3. A new youth center built on the city's northwest side by Racquet Up Detroit offers an array of services from physical fitness to educational attainment. The 18,000 sq ft facility will service approximately 200 youth a year. 
  4. The Ferris State professor that asked a judge to reinstate his position within the university had the request denied. Barry Mehler was suspended with pay after he posted a bizarre video where of him ranting. 
  5. A 74-year-old Bloomfield Hills resident has filed paperwork to run for Michigan's governor. Perry Johnson is a "quality guru" who founded a company that certifies if other businesses are meeting industrial standards. 

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

More freezing cold and an even colder wind chill are expected for Southeast Michigan Friday. That'll be the story at least until early next week when a brief but well-received warm-up pushes conditions near 40 degrees on Tuesday. 

Marijuana smokers may be more impaired while driving than they think, study suggests

A study published in the Journal JAMA Psychiatry on Jan. 26, found that some regular cannabis users may be driving more impaired and for longer than they may think.

"Participants’ increasing willingness to drive at 1 hour 30 minutes may indicate a false sense of driving safety. Worse driving performance is evident for several hours post smoking in many users but appears to resolve by 4 hours 30 minutes in most individuals," according to the study’s authors.

Authors of the study argued that consistent and frequent use of cannabis negatively affects cognitive function and reduces driving performance.

Researchers took 199 regular marijuana users and had some smoke THC while others were given a placebo.

Participants were then asked to take a 25-minute simulated driving test and researchers found that the biggest problem areas for those who were under the influence were lane position control (standard deviation of lateral position) and the ability to adjust to speed changes.

The authors also noted that of the drivers who were given THC, a large number did not feel comfortable driving after about 30 minutes of smoking but after an hour and 30 minutes passed, participants felt fit to drive safely.