FBI, Michigan State Police Probe Stalemate Deaths

  FBI, Michigan State Police Probe Stalemate Deaths

Posted by FoM on September 06, 2001 at 07:26:49 PT
By Ashley Lowery, Tribune Staff Writer 
Source: South Bend Tribune 

The shooting deaths of two Vandalia men who staged a five-day standoff with police and federal agents are the subject of probes by the FBI and the Michigan State Police. Grover T. "Tom" Crosslin, 46, was fatally shot by an FBI agent Monday, the fourth day of the standoff at Rainbow Farm Campground, 59896 Pemberton Road. The stalemate ended Tuesday morning when Michigan State Police shot and killed Crosslin's longtime roommate, Rolland Rohm. Two state troopers shot at Rohm, though it is unclear whether one or two hit him, authorities said.
Police say both men were shot after they aimed weapons at law enforcement personnel.Crosslin, the owner of the 34-acre campground, held a rifle as he walked the perimeter of his property after negotiations with police failed, Cass County Sheriff Joe Underwood said.He reportedly approached an area where an FBI observer was stationed, raised the weapon to shoulder level and pointed it at the agent.Underwood said Monday that the agent fired one round at Crosslin, but FBI Special Agent Dawn Clenney confirmed Wednesday that two shots were fired at Crosslin."We thought it was one shot, but with the medical exam we learned it was two," Clenney said.The fatal shot was to Crosslin's head. Clenney declined to say where the second bullet struck.FBI Special Agent in Charge John E. Bell Jr. said that two agents fired at Crosslin.Dori Leo, the attorney for Crosslin and Rohm, said she was surprised by the revelation that Crosslin was struck twice, not once as initially reported."The shooter sure knew if he pulled the trigger twice or not," Leo said. "You've got to know how many times you pull the trigger. Why is it a surprise?"Regardless of the number of times or the number of agents who fired at Crosslin, the shooting would have been reviewed by a team of agents, Clenney said."That is done in all shootings," Clenney said. "It is a normal course of action."MSP spokesman Lt. Mike Risko echoed Clenney in describing the investigation into Rohm's death.The unidentified member of the Emergency Support Team was placed on administrative leave after the shooting. In addition, troopers from MSP's 5th District Post in Paw Paw, Mich., are investigating the shooting."We're doing that as we speak," he said Wednesday.Both actions are standard procedure, he added.But shooting to kill should not be a police standard, according to Leo, an attorney with Vlachos and Vlachos in Kalamazoo."I'm afraid they're going to determine this was a standard operation followed to a T," she said. "I do not think the officers did anything wrong, I think they were following commands."It is those commands that Leo opposes."They have a protocol specially for this, and that's shoot to kill," she said. "Why can't it be shoot to maim? Why can't it be shoot to tranquilize?"Leo added that she did not believe that Crosslin and Rohm tried to provoke police into shooting them.Neither Leo nor Risko could disclose any details about Rohm's death, including where on his body and how many times he was struck.Autopsy results for Rohm and Crosslin were unavailable Wednesday from Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids.Crosslin and Rohm were facing drug charges from arrests in May.Crosslin was charged with manufacturing marijuana, more than 200 plants; maintaining a drug house; felony firearm possession during commission of a crime; and firearm possession by a felon. Crosslin had been a convicted felon on a firearms charge before his arrest in May.Rohm was initially charged with manufacturing marijuana, more than 200 plants; maintaining a drug house; and felony firearms. The last two charges were dismissed on June 22, court records show.Both men were scheduled to appear in Cass County Circuit Court on Friday in Cassopolis for a show-cause portion of a hearing.County authorities sought to revoke Crosslin's $150,000 bond and Rohm's $25,000 bond because both men allegedly smoked marijuana at a festival in August.But instead of appearing in court Friday, the two men remained in the farmhouse on the Pemberton Road property.Two buildings on the property were ablaze -- apparently by Crosslin's hand -- when law enforcement personnel arrived at the property Friday afternoon.Leo continued to express her surprise by the turn of events that resulted in Crosslin and, especially, Rohm's deaths."I didn't get an indication from Tom that he was ready to give up," she said. "I got the impression that Tom was defensive and Rollie was scared."I'm just angry about the whole thing. Why did it have to be so harsh?" Rainbow Farm in Court:In addition to the May arrests of Grover T. "Tom" Crosslin, 46, of Vandalia, and Rolland Rohm, 28, of Vandalia, in May, five other men were arrested. As part of a five-day standoff with police at Rainbow Farm Campground near Vandalia, Crosslin died Monday and Rohm died Tuesday after being shot by authorities. Here is an update on other pending charges and court dates in Cass County Circuit Court: Michael Royal, 37, of Defiance, Ohio: delivery and manufacturing of marijuana and delivery and manufacturing of LSD; trial date Nov. 14. Aaron Wayne Brown, 22, of Allegan, Mich.: two counts of controlled substance of delivery and manufacturing methamphetamines; trial date Nov. 6. Andrew Scott Rasmussen, 20, of Bay City, Mich.: two counts of controlled substances delivery and manufacturing of cocaine under 50 grams; trial date Dec. 4. James Ryan Schmidt, 28, of Lake Zurich, Ill.: two counts of delivery of LSD; trial date Oct. 30. William Hartley, 17, of Hagerstown, Md.: one charge of obstructing a police officer has been dropped. A civil suit seeking the public seizure of the Rainbow Farm property under the provisions of the federal Controlled Substance Act is scheduled for Feb. 26, 2002. Note: Investigations 'normal' after shootings.Source: South Bend Tribune (IN)Author: Ashley Lowery, Tribune Staff Writer Published: September 06, 2001Copyright: 2001 South Bend TribuneContact: vop sbtinfo.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Rainbow Farm Campground Pair Saw One Escape: Death's Passions Led To Downfall Ending: Vandalia Standoff Claims 2nd Life

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Comment #4 posted by Debbie on September 06, 2001 at 20:03:11 PT

Tell me which is more deserving of jail time? Murdering or growing something natural?
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Comment #3 posted by Kathy on September 06, 2001 at 20:01:08 PT

The FBI murders, murders, murders, murders and murders...when are they going to be held accountible for the murders they do? What can justify what they do? Nothing
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Comment #2 posted by schmeff on September 06, 2001 at 09:22:28 PT

I Have a Dream....
...that my children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the contents of their pipe but by the content of their character. 
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Comment #1 posted by Rock-N-Roller on September 06, 2001 at 08:22:24 PT

Get up, Stand up, Stand up for your right.
In order to bring more media attention to this tragedy we need to make a lot of noise. We need the likes of Gary Johnson, Jessie Ventura, and Normal to attend the funerals and deliver the eulogies. We need to have thousands of people, attend the services, just like the police and firemen do. If this could happen the media cannot completley ignore this. If we get more media attention it can possibly help to educate the ones who need it. E-Mail Gary Johnson's office, and Normal, lets try to get them there. This will show to the nation and the families of those who died, that the efforts of these modern day patriots will not be in vain. To sit and do nothing is what the opposition would like to see. They would love to just see it go away. I like the idea of the movie thing that people are talking about. E-Mail Hollywood also. I will make several posts of this comment. Do not be angry or surprised if you see this again. I will post it in other places to get more attention. Get up, Stand up, Stand up for your right.
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