St. Clair Shores Police Detective Lt. Michael Walleman said a series of events took place just prior to the crash that ended with the deaths of the three unidentified men
just before 11:30 p.m.
The victims were initially suspects when they were observed by customers of the CVS Pharmacy on Harper and 11 Mile concealing numerous bottles of Axe body spray inside their pants
, Walleman said.
“Employees of the store observed the men acting suspicious — what they were doing that made them suspicious is unknown. Then customers saw them stuffing items in their pants and informed the employees, who then called police,” Walleman said.
Just as the suspects were attempting to exit the store parking lot, a squad car arrived at the scene from a nearby side street. Walleman said the driver of the suspect vehicle accelerated and smashed into the squad car, then fled.
“They intentionally rammed the police car to get it out of the way,” he said. “But they didn’t disable the (squad) car.”
A chase immediately ensured west on 11 Mile, with the suspects reportedly traveling at speeds of more than 90 mph. The late hour meant little to no vehicles on the roadways at the time, Walleman said
Regardless, Walleman said because of the rate of speed, the pursuit was terminated at 11 Mile and Little Mack.
The suspects traveled eastbound in the westbound lanes for just over a mile before clipping a minivan and careening into a tow truck
, according to the Michigan State Police.
All three men died at the scene.
The tow truck driver, the driver of the minivan and the St. Clair Shores police officer were not injured.