Man charged after shootout, lighting police cars on fire

James Kamal Itani

SAULT STE MARIE, Mich. — A man who was shot by Michigan State Police officers after he allegedly set fire to multiple police vehicles at the Sault Ste. Marie Post and shot at officers was arraigned Monday in the 91st District Court in Sault Ste. Marie.

James Kamal Itani, a 39-year-old man from Orlando, Fla., was charged with several felony charges including one count of terrorism, one count of third-degree arson, 11 counts of assault with intent to murder and multiple weapons violations. He is currently lodged in the Chippewa County Jail on a $5 million bond.

The charges against Itani stem from incidents that took place on Sept. 6 and 7.

On Sept. 6, at approximately 3:15 a.m., a suspect wearing camouflage and believed to be Itani drove a silver-colored Honda CRV into the driveway of the Sault Ste. Marie Post. The man parked the vehicle, got out, and doused several patrol vehicles with gasoline before setting them on fire. He then produce a rifle from his vehicle and proceeded to fire multiple rounds into and around the patrol vehicles.

After an extensive investigation and multiple tips, Itani was identified as a suspect and was found on Riverside Road in Chippewa County.

On Sept. 7, at approximately 1:45 p.m., a search warrant was executed by the Michigan State Police Emergency Support Team. During the execution of the warrant, Itani fired gunshots towards troopers, who returned fire. Itani was injured in the shootout and was taken by ambulance to My Michigan Medical Center, where he was treated for his injuries.

No officers were injured during the incident.

During the investigation, the Michigan State Police was assisted by the ATF, FBI, Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office, Sault Ste. Marie City Police, Bay Mills Police Dept., Homeland Security Investigation, Sault Tribal Police, Customs and Border Patrol, Sault Ste. Marie Fire Dept, Bruce Township Fire and Kinross E.M.S.


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