photo: WWJ/Mike Campbell

Waterford Police Shoot, Kill Domestic Violence Suspect

June 29, 2018 - 10:17 am

WATERFORD (WWJ) - Waterford police say an officer shot and killed a shotgun-wielding suspect who assaulted his own mother and threatened to kill his brother. 

The incident unfolded just before 4 a.m. Friday after the suspect, identified 56-year-old Steven Ballard, assaulted his mother in Bloomfield Township. Police then got word that Ballard was heading to Barkman Drive in Waterford, near Walton Boulevard and Clintonville Road, where he threatened to kill his brother.

"My mom called and he had gone over there and beat her up, I guess, pretty bad. She called, I talked to her and she didn't want me to call the police or anything. I didn't," Ballard's brother, Todd, told WWJ's Mike Campbell. "So then he called here at about 4 and said he was coming over here to kill me, he had a shotgun a stuff. Then I called police."

Officers were able to get the brother to safety and were waiting for Ballard when he arrived in the neighborhood. 

"Two of our officers had come into contact with the suspect. There was a stop here on Barkman Drive, and we had an officer involved shooting," said Waterford Police Chief Underwood Scott Underwood. "It appears, preliminarily, that there was a shotgun pointed at one of the officers. Our officers returned fire before they were shot and the suspect is deceased."

A neighbor, who did not want to be named, said she heard the entire thing.

"This is a P-shaped, cul de sac type road and they were chasing him around the circle. He kept turning left and going in a circle. And they finally got some cop cars down at the stop sign and blocked him in," she said. "They said 'Get your hands up! Get your hands up!' and then I heard five or six shots and then I heard 'Where did he go?' and that's all that was said."

Ballard had bi-polar disorder, his brother said, and a bit of respite his death brings is now he no longer has to suffer. 

"I know he's in a better place because he's been tortured for a while with this disease. It's gotten progressively worse," he said. "And it's hard because the state, you know, they just don't recognize these mental illnesses until, obviously, it's too late."

Ballard's mother received bruises during the incident but did not require hospitalization. Two Waterford Township Police Officers were treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, which is ongoing.