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Mecosta gunman's neighbor: Standoff, murder & rapes 'unreal'

11:28 PM, Nov 22, 2013   |    comments
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Duncan Eric Willis II

MECOSTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- A 27-year-old Mecosta County man is facing multiple felony charges related to a standoff and hostage situation that ended with murder and multiple rapes.

The standoff happened began late Thursday night at a home on Cramer Drive in the Rogers Heights neighborhood south of Big Rapids.

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Duncan Willis is accused of entering a neighbor's home, shooting one woman to death, and sexually assaulting three other women. Several small children were also inside, but not harmed.

Friday night, WZZM 13 News returned to Cramer Drive and talked with Willis's neighbor, Tad Weibel. Weibel says Willis came over to his home a couple hours before the standoff began. "They said he was drunk, but he wasn't drunk when he was here."

Weibel said he thought Willis just came over to let off some steam. "He just come over here because him and his girlfriend were feuding or fighting with each other. He just came over to vent."

Kathleen Hawley, 58, of Morley was shot and died at the scene. Three women, ages 20-30, were inside, along with two 7-year-old boys and a 10-month-old girl. The gunman held the hostages overnight, but released two of the women and the children before sunrise. He surrendered peacefully at 7 a.m.

Willis was charged Friday afternoon with one charge of homicide, six counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, kidnapping, weapons charges, and being a habitual offender.

Weibel says the whole thing is hard to comprehend. "I just can't believe that something would happen like that, for him to go grab a gun and go across the street and shoot some body. It's unreal."

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