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Man with gun arrested at Jewish Federation

A male with a gun was arrested outside the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, on Telegraph Road in Bloomfield Township, at approximately 11:30 a.m. Thursday, November 2, after an interaction with a FedEx driver in the parking lot.

According to Bloomfield Township Police Chief James Gallagher, at an afternoon press conference, the first 911 call was received by dispatch from someone inside the federation building at 11:33 a.m., and all township officers, “uniformed and plains-clothed,” were dispatched to the building and arrived by 11:36 a.m. The man was in police custody by 11:38 a.m.

According to Nick Soley, Bloomfield Township Police Public Information Officer, the man was arrested and taken into custody without incident and is to be charged with felonious assault.

At a news conference, Gallagher, along with Oakland County UnderSheriff Curtis Childs, Franklin Police Chief Dan Roberts, and Jewish Federation CEO Steve Ingber, assured this was definitely not an act of antisemitism, but a mental health crisis.

Gallagher explained the suspect, described as a white male wearing black pants, black shirt and glasses, came into the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit building and was asked for identification. He said he did not have it with him, and asked if he could get it from his car. After returning to his vehicle, a FedEx driver in the parking lot saw what appeared to be a gun in the man's waistband, and drove to block him. The suspect tried to run after the truck before returning to the delivery door of the building, which was locked, shaking the doors. People inside saw the firearm and called 911.

After the suspect was arrested, officers were able to determine the gun was a pellet gun. However, pictures of the gun show it looking like a revolver.

“It's very convincing,” Gallagher noted, stating investigators will be looking into whether it was altered. “Anyone would think it was a real gun.”

“As you can see by the 911 calls, the callers had every right to be fearful,” Gallagher said of the 911 calls played for reporters.

“We are confident that there is no threat to our community and that this was not a targeted attack. There will still be an increased police presence at our places of worship and our schools for the remainder of the day,” Soley said.

Bloomfield Township police were joined on site by Bloomfield Township Fire, Franklin Fire Department, West Bloomfield Police Department, Birmingham Police Department and the Oakland County Sheriff's Department.

According to a statement released by the Jewish Federation, “We want to share with the community that there was a lockdown situation at the Max M. Fisher Federation Building today. The building is secure, and all employees are safe… We believe this individual was having a mental health crisis. Following a police interview with the individual, it was determined that this was not an act of antisemitism.”

Despite some rumors and social media posts, Soley said no shots were fired by the individual, who has not yet been arraigned, and there were no injuries. He will likely be arraigned within the next couple of days at 48th District Court in Bloomfield Township, following review by the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office.

(This story was updated at 3:45 p.m. Thursday following a press conference with public safety officials.)


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