POLICE: 'Gunman' at Romulus GM Powertrain plant carried blanks only

ROMULUS, Mich. (WXYZ) - Police say the gunman who caused an evacuation at the GM Powertrain plant in Romulus had only a gun that shoots blanks in his possession.

Captain Joshua Monte with the Romulus Police department says it was a quick-acting Corporal who talked to the man.

"He got what he felt he had to say out," Capt. Monte said.  "He placed the gun on the table and surrendered to us."  Captain Monte says the Corporal who has 12 years on the force handled the situation well.

The disgruntled long-time employee was carrying a starter pistol. Police say he just wanted to talk about working conditions that he believed were poor.

Aside from that, the Capt. says when it comes to the safety of fellow workers security is of the upmost importance, "You don't know what his intentions are," the Capt. said.  He says the first thing that officers tend to think about is how they can easily isolate the armed subject.  In this case that wasn't necessary.  Mike Meyerand with General Motors says the entire ordeal lasted just over an hour. 

Regardless of the weapon the man had the Capt. says, "The law doesn't differentiate between a starter gun and a real gun in the eyes of the law."

GM issued the following statement:

An employee at the Romulus Engine Plant brought a gun into work which posed a potential threat to himself and others. The situation was elevated to management who took the right precautions by evacuating the facility and calling police. The individual has been apprehended by police.  Employees are safe and have returned to work.

The plant was evacuated early Friday morning after the suspect entered and was threatening suicide.

He has since been detained by Romulus Police. They were accompanied by Van Buren Township Police who helped work to coax the suspect out of the plant.

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