DETROIT (AP) – A man suspected in two dozen random shootings along a 100-mile Michigan freeway corridor will face new charges this week in the attacks, authorities said Thursday.
Raulie Casteel, who is jailed on $2 million on weapons charges in Livingston County, will be charged Friday in Oakland County, where half the shootings occurred, Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe said.
Casteel was charged Wednesday in an Oct. 18 shooting in Livingston County’s Howell Township, which, like all of the shootings, happened on or near Interstate 96 in southeastern Michigan. Moving vehicles were targeted in most of the shootings, which made routine travel in the area anything but routine for several weeks and made some anxious drivers alter their routes.
Defense lawyer Charles Groh declined to comment Thursday. Co-counsel Doug Mullkoff told a judge that Casteel is a college graduate who’s been married for 11 years and has no criminal history.
Casteel was arrested Monday in Wixom, the suburb northwest of Detroit where he and his family had been living since moving back to Michigan from Kentucky this summer and where the first shooting was reported on Oct. 16.
Taylorsville, Ky., Police Chief Toby Lewis said he met Casteel about two years ago during a police open house. Officers didn’t have any contact with him until last June when Casteel complained about small aircraft supposedly flying too low above his house.
“He was very agitated. We referred him to the FAA,” Lewis said of the Federal Aviation Administration. “He thought it was an attack on his domain. Our officers had not seen any aircraft flying low in the area. That was the only thing that seemed odd.”
Casteel told officers, “If you can’t take care of this, I guess I’ll have to,” the chief recalled.
“Within a week or two, the house went up for sale and no one’s been there. He went to the water department and gave a forwarding address,” Lewis told The Associated Press.
Deputy Rob Thomas of the Spencer County, Ky., sheriff’s office said Casteel complained about military helicopters flying too low over his house in March. Fort Knox is about 45 minutes away.
“Most people don’t pay attention to them,” Thomas said. “It shocked me that he complained. He said it shook the house and was loud.”
The deputy said he deals with a “lot of odd people,” but Casteel “didn’t strike me that way.”
In an online resume, Casteel, a geologist with a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, reported having managed landfill and groundwater sampling sites in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Kentucky.
Most of the shootings involved cars near I-96, although authorities said one occurred while a man was taking out his trash. Ten of the shootings happened in Wixom.
Only one person was wounded, a man who was shot in the buttocks while driving. One woman said her car’s rear window was shattered.
“We have not learned his motives,” Ingham County sheriff’s Det. Sgt. Dennis Hull said.
Family members have expressed concern about Casteel’s mental health.
“We’re looking into that as well,” Livingston County Prosecutor David Morse said.
Morse said a 9mm pistol seized from Casteel matches the weapon used in the Livingston County shooting. Casteel had a license to carry it in Kentucky but not in Michigan.
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