What was your favorite part of Ypsi’s Fourth of July parade? Was it getting shot at?

machinegun

Sadly, I didn’t get video of him actually pointing his gun at the small kids lining the parade route, pulling the trigger, and strafing the crowd with simulated machine gun fire. This photo was taken by a friend, right at the end of the parade, once he’d decided to end his imagined killing spree.

UPDATE: Could this possibly be the same guy? If not, what a weird coincidence… Check this out from today’s Detroit News:

Police phones began ringing off the hook at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday when citizens flooded the department with reports of a man shooting an automatic weapon at people on a crowded city street.

Shelby Township police called in mutual aid from Sterling Heights and Utica and then descended on the neighborhood around Erma Drive, located between Dequindre and Ryan roads and West Utica and Auburn roads.

It didn’t take them long to find the source of the calls: three men driving an armored military type vehicle mounted with a modified World War II .50 machine gun.

The gun had been converted to fire compressed gas, which produced bright flashes and loud and realistic gunfire sounds.

One of the three men was arrested and charges are pending. Police also confiscated the vehicle and its mounted weapon.

Officially known as the M-2, the machine gun is also referred to as “Ma Deuce” by infantrymen. According to the Army Study Guide, it is used “against low-flying hostile aircraft, support the infantryman in both attack and defense, destroy lightly armored vehicles, provide protection for motor movements, vehicle parks and train bivouacs, and reconnaissance by fire on suspected enemy positions”

Regardless of whether or not it’s the same guy, I find it fascinating that you can do things on the street in Ypsilanti during the Fourth of July parade that would get you arrested anywhere else in Michigan.

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20 Comments

  1. Posted July 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    From a librarian friend of mine: “Library was right in front of them. It was terrifying.”

  2. Posted July 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    If you have video footage of him actually shooting people, please let me know.

    Also, as much as this kind of shit freaks me out, it’s kind of what makes Ypsi parades so beautiful. You really never know what you’re going to get. One minute there’s a character out of Apocalypse Now trying to gun you down, and the next there’s a Christian family in the back of a pickup, singing songs about burning in hell in front of a red, white and blue cross. I keep telling myself that I need to have a MarkMaynard.com float, but I never get up the energy to actually do it. Next year, though….

  3. Khadijah
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    That is the funniest thing I have read in weeks… Ypsi is seriously turnt up.

  4. Posted July 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    The Ann Arbor parade was tame by comparison, but we did have a Star Wars marching band and a ukulele ensemble.

    http://vielmetti.typepad.com/vacuum/2013/07/ann-arbor-fourth-of-july-parade-2013.html

  5. Mark
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    It looks like Ann Arbor won this year, Ed. Just wait until next year, though.

  6. Edward
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    It’s good to be an old white man.

  7. Kevin
    Posted July 5, 2013 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    He seemed to be using caps with gunpowder because it smelled when he passed us.

  8. Posted July 5, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Here’s an account of someone getting arrested for doing something similar in Detroit.

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130705/METRO03/307050061/Man-arrested-Shelby-Twp-driving-around-modified-mounted-machine-gun

    It didn’t take them long to find the source of the calls: three men driving an armored military type vehicle mounted with a modified World War II .50 machine gun.

    The gun had been converted to fire compressed gas, which produced bright flashes and loud and realistic gunfire sounds.

  9. Posted July 5, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I’d just seen that, Ed, and updated the post to reflect it. My guess is that it’s the same guys, but I have no way to be certain…. Fucking amazing…

  10. amie
    Posted July 5, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Yes! A Mark Maynard float. There is still time to enter the Heritage Festival parade.

  11. smellytongues
    Posted July 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I put together a float for the Ann Arbor 4th of July parade last year. It was a lot of work but was fun. I was thinking we should have some sort of pagan float to follow behind all of the trailers with the singing Christians…or we could really mess with folks and have a trailer of what looks the same as the singing Christians but sing hymns from the Process Church of the Final Judgement where they praise Lucifer along with Jesus.
    Maybe this is a really dumb idea but it could be pretty funny.

  12. Kyle
    Posted July 5, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if this is what John Adam’s had in mind?

  13. Erik Wright-Olsen
    Posted July 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    One of my neighbors suggested a Normal Park float, with the slogan: “Ypsilanti. We’re more than just churches, elected officials, and towing companies.”

  14. Rob
    Posted July 6, 2013 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    In semi-defense of the guy, as he went by me every time he actually “fired” he had the gun pointed somewhat skyward…

  15. Oliva
    Posted July 6, 2013 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    At the Plymouth parade the bagpipers were drowned out by a group of red-white-and-blue patriots carrying a huge horizontal flag and shouting along with a Toby Keith recording turned up to way too high. Parade watchers stood up as they passed by.

    You’ll be sorry that you messed with
    The U.S. of A.
    ‘Cause we’ll put a BOOT in your ass
    It’s the American way.

  16. joe
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    If this scares you stay away from EMU football games. Not even going into what they do at the game when they score.

  17. Don
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I personally followed the man in the parade and he NEVER pointed the gun at people! And he is NOT the same person as mentioned in the Detroit News article.

  18. Kristin
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/shelby-township-police-release-911-calls-in-antique-tank-incident/-/1719418/20850806/-/fyoa8g/-/index.html

  19. Posted July 9, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Definitely not the same guy as the guy in Shelby Twp, according to this Freep story with photo.

    http://www.freep.com/article/20130709/NEWS04/307090097/tank-gunfire-shelby-township

    Neighbor frantic during 911 call about military tanker in Shelby Township: John Lind, 49, is facing possible criminal charges in the Thursday night incident and township police are investigating who else was inside the 1944 M20 armored utility car as it took a spin through the neighborhood.

  20. Posted August 19, 2013 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    One of the first lessons that one is taught when learning to handle guns is never to point a gun at anyone (unless you mean to kill them), even if you believe it to be unloaded.

One Trackback

  1. By Ypsilanti’s Heritage Fest parade on August 18, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    […] think it might be the same Jeep that was shooting at spectators during our Fourth of July parade, but this time the focus was a little less on murder, and a little more on saving the historic […]

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