November 8, 2012

Michigan man charged, held in random shootings along interstate

The Associated Press

HOWELL, Mich. - A man suspected in two dozen random shootings along a 100-mile stretch of roadway in southeastern Michigan was charged with several gun crimes Wednesday that are likely the first of many charges.

Prosecutors believe that Raulie Casteel, a geologist, is responsible for the shootings last month that mostly targeted moving vehicles on or near Interstate 96. Only one person was hit, a man shot in the buttocks.

Casteel, 43, was ordered held on a $2 million bond after being charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and other gun crimes. The charges stem from a shooting Oct. 18 on the interstate in Livingston County's Howell Township, about 45 miles northwest of Detroit.

The driver of the targeted car was able to describe the gunman, his vehicle and a partial license plate number from a Michigan State University vanity plate.

He was arrested Monday at his home in Wixom, about 20 miles away.

"Hopefully we can scratch these senseless shootings off our to-do list," said David McCain, head of the Detroit office of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Casteel appeared in court via video from jail on Wednesday and was introduced to lawyers hired by his wife. Judge Carol Sue Reader set the high bond, saying there was a "high probability" that Casteel was a threat to the public. The county prosecutor's office said mental illness may be a factor.

Defense attorney Doug Mullkoff had no comment.

 

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