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Two arrested for reckless discharge of firearms, other charges

Suspects displayed signs of aggression toward officer, according to news release

On Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023, shortly after 5 a.m. a trooper from the Michigan State Police Traverse City Post was dispatched to a residence on Hulbert Road in Inland Township for a report of multiple shots fired.

As the trooper approached the residence, 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.

After approximately 13 minutes, two men emerged from behind a privacy fence and displayed signs of aggression. One man was wearing a BDSM style face mask. They began yelling and swearing at the trooper as they walked toward him. The trooper had requested additional officers respond to the scene. Two troopers had arrived and positioned themselves out of sight of the suspects.

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. The other man immediately surrendered and complied. The men refused to identify themselves. They were eventually identified as 40-year-old Donald Kenneth Rommel from Interlochen and 35-year-old Christopher Davis Lafayette from Burton.

Rommel had a criminal bench warrant for failure to appear out of Benzie County. Both men were lodged in the Benzie County Jail. The troopers obtained a search warrant for the property and 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 recovered an unregistered Glock 9mm handgun from inside the residence.

Rommel was arraigned in the 85 th District Court in Benzie County on one count felon in possession of a firearm, one count felon in possession ammunition, one count reckless discharge of a firearm, one count resisting and obstructing police, and habitual offender notice. His bond was set at $5,000 10 per cent. His next scheduled court appearance is on Dec. 14 at 1 p.m.

Lafayette was arraigned in the 85 th District Court in Benzie County on one count reckless discharge of a firearm, and one count resisting and obstructing police. He was given a $5,000 PR bond. His next scheduled court appearance is on Dec. 14 at 1 p.m.