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MSP: 2 men - 1 wearing a BDSM-style mask - taken down by troopers after shooting guns, acting aggressive

BENZIE COUNTY — On Nov. 21 shortly after 5 a.m., a trooper from the Michigan State Police Traverse City Post was sent to a residence on Hulbert Road in Inland Township for a report of multiple shots fired.

As the trooper approached the residence, he said he heard a rapid succession of gun shots and immediately backed away from the scene to a safe distance. An announcement was made from the PA system for the perpetrator to drop the weapon and come out with their hands up, troopers said.

After about 13 minutes, two men emerged from behind a privacy fence and displayed signs of aggression, troopers said. One man was wearing a BDSM-style face mask.

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They began yelling and swearing at the trooper as they walked toward him, officials said.

The trooper had requested additional officers respond to the scene, and two troopers arrived and positioned themselves out of sight of the suspects, officials said.

The men continued to disobey the trooper’s orders, and as they came closer, one the troopers performed a take-down maneuver on one of the men, troopers said. The other man immediately surrendered and complied.

The men refused to identify themselves, troopers said. They were eventually identified as 40-year-old Donald Kenneth Rommel from Interlochen and 35-year-old Christopher Davis Lafayette from Burton, troopers said.

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Rommel had a criminal bench warrant for failure to appear out of Benzie County.

The troopers obtained a search warrant for the property and said they found numerous spent 9mm shell casings around the front door of the residence and in the entrance area. There were also bullet holes in a modular home next to the residence that was used as an office.

Troopers said they recovered an unregistered Glock 9mm handgun from inside the residence.

Rommel was arraigned in the 85th District Court in Benzie County on one count of felon in possession of a firearm, one count of felon in possession ammunition, one count of reckless discharge of a firearm, one count resisting and obstructing police, and habitual offender notice.

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Lafayette was arraigned in the 85th District Court in Benzie County on one count of reckless discharge of a firearm, and one count of resisting and obstructing police.


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