Man hid in bunker waiting to ambush police in more than 30-hour standoff

Posted at 2:57 PM, Jul 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-08 18:29:02-04

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. (WXYZ) — St. Clair Shores police say a man who was involved in a more than 30-hour standoff over the weekend hid in a basement bunker and waited to ambush police.

The suspect allegedly killed a woman inside the home before killing himself. It started on the Fourth of July in the area of St. Margaret and 13 Mile, and came to an end early Saturday morning.

The suspect was identified as 58-year-old Tom Ihlendfeldt and the victim was 60-year-old Carol Baur. Baur had multiple gunshot wounds and Ihlenfeldt died from a single self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Witnesses say Ihlendfeldt fired shots after people lit fireworks in the neighborhood. Police say he shot at least two people, including a 10-year-old girl with special needs and a 62-year-old woman. Both suffered non life-threatening injuries.

Officers arrived on the scene and Inhlendfeldt fled into the home and continued firing shots at officers and civilians. While they tried to negotiate his exit, he continued to fire shots at police.

As the incident continued, a Michigan State Police robot successfully entered the home, and found that Baur was inside the residence but had been killed. Police sources tell 7 Action News reporter Jim Kiertzner Ihlendfeldt shot his girlfriend several times and they found her in the kitchen

The robot worked to identify Ihlenfeldt's exact location, but he fired several rounds which disabled the robot. He also fired multiple rounds toward officers with a "high powered rifle."

Police sources also say he had several handguns, big guns, long guns, several additional high-powered rifles inside the house. He had a gas mask so when they fired tear gas canisters during the standoff they were not effective. They also say Ihlendfeldt shot himself once in the head.

Inhlenfeldt's mother came to the house mid-afternoon Monday to place flowers as other people had. She didn’t want to talk on camera, but told Kiertzner that she’s shocked and apologizes to police and the people who were shot.

“If I had a million dollars I would give it to them, they will have doctor bills,” she said.

She also didn’t want to give her name. She says her son was disconnected the family, that she hadn’t talked with him in years. She described him as combative and, in his own mind, always right.

Some speculated Ihlendfeldt had PTSD that was set off by the fireworks, but his mother says he was never in the military. She says she fears this time he wanted police to shoot him. She’s now going to be planning his funeral.

The investigation is ongoing.