MT. PLEASANT, Mich. – When police were pursuing Eric Ramsey through three counties he was considered armed and dangerous. Now, the sheriff in Isabella County says the gun was not what they thought.
“It was a low powered, it was not a .45 caliber,” explains Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski. “It appears it was either a BB gun or pellet gun.”
But it looked real. And it was enough to scare a Central Michigan University student from Kent County into complying to Ramsey’s demands Wednesday Night. After being forced into her car, the female student and Ramsey allegedly drove to a home on Crawford Road, owned by Ramsey’s family. That’s were police said the woman was bound with tape and sexually assaulted.
“One of questions the victim asked him, was why me?” Mioduszewski said Ramsey told the victim he was looking at two other females in the parking lot of the Student Activities Center, but didn’t’ feel comfortable because there were people around.
Later, after Ramsey grabbed gas cans and the two were driving again, the victim told police Ramsey threatened to kill her, so she jumped out of the moving car, fracturing her arm. She ran up to a home on Mission Road, where two kids, home alone, decided to let a stranger into their home.
“I came out in the living room and heard a girl screaming ‘help, let me in, please, please,’” said 14-year-old James.
The sheriff said the quick-thinking kids probably saved the woman’s life.
“Had not that 14-year-old boy opened up that door and let her in, I’m afraid that (the victim) would not be alive today,” said Mioduszewski.
After spraying that house with gas and lighting it on fire, detectives said Ramsey took off in the victim’s car, ramming two State Police troopers – one in Gaylord, then a second in Crawford County. Then, Ramsey went after a Crawford County cruiser, hitting it head-on. The deputy inside was hurt, but managed to wiggle out of the vehicle. That’s when investigators say Ramsey was preparing to go after the deputy again.
“…he didn’t want to get run over,” Mioduszewski stated.
So the deputy opened fire, killing Ramsey.
Now, investigators are asking the same question the victim did: Why?
“Was there something that happened in his life recently that sent him over the edge?”
The sheriff says detectives are planning to talk to friends and family of Ramsey to figure out what happened.
It’s a complicated investigation, with crime scenes in three counties and on CMU’s campus, each with very different evidence. And even though a deputy shot and killed the 30-year-old, Sheriff Mioduszewski says they will still do a full criminal investigation.
“We owe it to the taxpayers, Mr. Ramsey’s family, as well as to the victim,” he says. “We know (Ramsey) was the one that rammed police cars, there’s no doubt about that … but we have the burden of proving … he’s the one that kidnapped the victim and sexually assaulted her.”
Although is also accused of arson and misusing a weapon – yet, cannot be charged – The Sheriff says he still wants answers and the families of the victim and the suspect deserve answers too.
“My condolences go out to the family, because even though their son (Ramsey) did a lot of things we know he shouldn’t have done, he’s still a son, he’s still a family member.”
An autopsy on Ramsey was completed Friday, those results and toxicology results are not expected for at least three weeks.