Neighbors: Police never heeded warnings of barricaded St. Clair Shores gunman in past

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The family of the 12-year-old and 62-year-old shot Thursday say barricaded gunman Tom Ihlenfeldt did not merely open fire on a crowd but he targeted their family, a black family - and was threatening and intimidating them for years.

The family says police knew what was happening but did little to stop the constant harassment.

"And she's called multiple times to complain about him," said Clara Albert. "And this is what happens I guess when people don't take you seriously."

Neighbors say the violence and gunplay on St. Margaret street in St. Clair Shores could have been avoided. Police have since identified the suspected gunman in the 30-hour long standoff as 58-year-old Tom Ihlenfeldt.

They say he killed Carol Baur before taking his own life. Neighbors tell FOX 2 she was Ihelnfeldt's girlfriend and she often tried to defend the Taylor-Jackson family. Ihlenfeldt antagonized them for years.

FOX 2: "You said Willy and Channita have had many issues with him and Carol always tried to stop (the issues) always," said Albert. "She would always be like, get back in the house, leave them alone. And she's called the cops and they never took her seriously. I mean I think it could've been avoided."

Sources and the Taylor-Jackson family told FOX 2 that Ihlenfeldt called Carol's children and told them he killed their mother saying she had, "Wanted to help the n-words."

Channita Jackson says she tried to get a Personal Protection Order filed against Ihlenfeldt three times but every one of them were denied for lack of evidence.

It all came to a head when Ihlenfeldt targeted and opened fire on her family as they celebrated the Fourth of July. The standoff began soon after.

Ihlenfeldt holed up inside Baur's home. Police used a tactical vehicle to break open the front door. Ihlenfeldt fired on police and he destroyed a camera-equipped robot they used to find his exact location in the house.

He made a bunker in the basement. fortifying himself while taking aim at police for hours.

"I'm looking over at Eric's house there he's got bullets up in his roof," said Kim Lozon, the parent of a neighbor.

Many residents on St. Margaret Street were either kept from their homes or held hostage in them as the standoff continued.

"We left for the hospital about an hour before everything happened," said Nikkie Johnson, a neighbor.

Johnson and her husband Mike were in labor when it first began. Police allowed them to bring their newborn baby back home Friday night before the chaos ended.

"I know they said stay away from windows outside doors," she said.

Police took several weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition from the home after the standoff. Ihlenfeldt, who was convicted of criminal sexual conduct involving a girl under the age of 13, is said to have been estranged from his family.


Barricaded man shot woman multiple times, self, in St. Clair Shores 24-hour standoff

Police say it's unclear exactly when Ihlenfeldt took his own life-but the investigation is ongoing.

FOX 2 reached out to both Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith and the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office for comment but got no response.