Two Flint men charged with shooting at MSP chopper facing terrorism charge
Both are accused of firing several gunshots at helicopter early Saturday morning
FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Two Flint men are accused of firing several gunshots at a Michigan State Police helicopter.
Investigators say the incident happened around 2:30 a.m. Saturday, in the Happy Hollow Nature Area near Powers High School in Flint.
The flight crew members and the helicopter were not hit.
The men face assault with intent to murder and domestic terrorism, both of those charges can carry life prison terms if convicted.
“This is kind of a unique case for us. I have never actually had a case where someone on the ground was shooting a gun at an aircraft, be it an airplane or a police helicopter,” says Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.
That unique case unfolded in the early morning hours of Saturday, as the Michigan State Police helicopter known as Trooper 3, was assisting Flint Police and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, who were responding to a shots fired call in the Hammerberg and Miller Roads area off I-69.
Police say when the helicopter arrived, two men on a foot bridge in the Happy Hollow Nature Area turned their attention to the aircraft.
“If you watch the video from the helicopter, you can see these two individuals pointing the gun right at the helicopter and shooting, and the pilot says right along with the video, now they are shooting at the aircraft,” says Leyton.
The flight crew was able to direct officers on the ground to the suspected shooters and 26-year-old Jeremy Engelmann and 26-year-old David Cox, both of Flint, were arrested for each firing several shots at the helicopter. They have been arraigned on eight criminal counts each, including two charges of assault with intent to murder the two crew members and domestic terrorism.
“Domestic terrorism, because in the statute, it says flat out, if you attempt to intimidate the police, well I don’t know of a situation could be more intimidating than firing a gun at a police helicopter,” says Leyton.
Its not clear how high the helicopter was up in the sky as it hoovered above the nature area when the gunshots were being fired.
“I don’t think there was any doubt they were intending to shoot up at the helicopter, now whether they knew the projectile could travel that far, is something I don’t know, but we don’t have to prove that,” says Leyton.
The bonds for the men were set at $50,000 and they remain in jail at this hour.
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