Prosecutor files 21 charges against man accused of shooting cars along SR 44 in Shelby County

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SHELBY COUNTY — The Shelby County prosecutor on Monday filed 21 criminal charges against a Michigan man suspected of shooting at passing vehicles along State Road 44 before leading police on a chase.

Frederick Dewon Charles, 36, of Grand Rapids, Michigan is facing six counts of attempted murder and various other charges including battery by means of a deadly weapon, criminal mischief and resisting law enforcement.

Investigators believe Charles hit at least five vehicles when he opened fire in the 6000 block of SR 44 just after 1 p.m. Sunday.

“From what our witnesses say, he was standing in the middle of the road,” said Shelby County Sheriff’s Major Chris Holder. “We’re a rural community, and we just don’t see things like this very often.”

Shelby County authorities say they received more than 25 911 calls about a man shooting at passing traffic on SR 44 between Shelbyville and Franklin.  

“One caller described the male jumping on the hood of a car,” a probable cause affidavit states. “Multiple callers were reporting the incident advising shots were being fired by a male and vehicles were being struck.”

As police arrived in the area, they say Charles jumped in a blue Dodge pickup truck and lead them on a chase.

Shelly Hill, who lives along SR 44, says she saw the pickup truck drive around her family’s barn and eventually ram the barn’s door.

“I was just so shocked and mad that I come out here on the front step and was just yelling from across the road, ‘Hey, you get out of there! Get out of there, now!’” Hill recalled.  

Moments later, Hill says the pickup took off northbound through a farm field.

“About that time I see the cop car pull into the barn lot over there, giving chase,” she said.

“There was a lot of chaos at first,” said Terry Harmon, who lives down the road from Hill. “Cars running everywhere, cop cars running everywhere.”

“It was just craziness,” Hill said.

Investigators believe Charles was live-streaming on Facebook as he was being pursued by police through farm fields. Police deployed stop sticks and were able to apprehend Charles on nearby County Road 100 South. They say Charles surrendered peacefully when police approached his vehicle and ordered him to get out.

“Officers located and seized two handguns, several rounds of live ammunition and several spent ammunition casings and other items at the scene of the shootings,” court documents state.

The documents also say Charles posted on Facebook just prior to the shootings “I been preparing my entire life for these moments…”

Nobody was injured during the shootings or the pursuit that followed. At this time, police have identified five vehicles that were hit by gunfire during the incident. They’re asking other potential victims who discover gunshot damage to call the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office or the prosecutor’s office.

So far, there’s no explanation for why Charles allegedly fired at vehicles or why he chose Shelby County to do so.

Charles was being held in the Shelby County Jail on $1 million bond. His jury trial is currently scheduled for June 22.

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