A police sketch of the suspected gunman still at large in Wixom. / Wixom Police Department
WIXOM, Mich. (Detroit Free Press) -- The number of reported shootings targeting people, mostly motorists, across four counties has jumped to 22, police announced Monday.
No one has been injured in the shootings, all of which occurred during a three-day period last week, but there have been close calls. In one case, a bullet was recovered from beneath a driver's leg, Wixom Police Chief Clarence Goodlein said.
The shootings -- which occurred between last Tuesday and Thursday in Oakland, Ingham, Livingston and Shiawassee counties -- are believed to be the work of one man firing a handgun as he drives, police said. Police said it's unclear whether the shooter is intentionally missing people.
A multi-jurisdictional task force has been formed to investigate the shootings.
Goodlein said three bullets, some fragments and a cartridge have been recovered and sent to Oakland County and Michigan State Police crime labs for testing. Goodlein said police hope to have results by the end of the week. He said police also are waiting for a behavioral analysis of the shooter, who police believe lives in one of the four counties.
Goodlein said the shootings have occurred as follows:
• On Oct. 16, there was a shooting at West Maple and Best Drive in Commerce Township and three in Wixom on North Wixom Road between Charms and Potter roads.
• On Oct. 17, there was a shooting in Commerce Township on Benstein just north of West Maple.
• Oct. 18 had one shooting at Loon Lake and Hopkins in Wixom, six on Wixom Road between Charms Road and Pontiac Trail in Wixom, one on I-96 and nine shootings along M-52.
The shootings all occurred in either the afternoon or evenings, Goodlein said.
"We are going to find this person," Goodlein said.
Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe cautioned drivers to pay attention. "You just got to be aware of your surroundings," he said.
Meanwhile, Walled Lake Consolidated Schools spokeswoman Judy Evola said five schools in Wixom had doors locked with recess inside and police in the area.
"It's a precaution," Evola said. "They have not apprehended the person who is doing these random shootings. And we don't want to have students outside."
School officials are unsure how long the measures may last.
The shooter is thought to be driving a dark car resembling either a late-model Oldsmobile Alero or Toyota Camry.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers of Michigan at 800-773-2587 (800-SPEAK-UP).
By Gina Damron, Tammy Stables Battaglia and L.L. Brasier, Detroit Free Press Staff Writers