MSP IDs man dead after chase, shots fired

Steven Goble. (Undated courtesy photo)

ORLEANS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan State Police have identified Steven Travis Goble as the man who died after leading officers from multiple agencies on a chase in northern Ionia County Sunday and then opening fire on them.

Goble, 31, of Lake Odessa was pronounced dead early Sunday evening in a field in the area of Hubbell Road and M-66 in Orleans Township, north of the City of Ionia, MSP said.

MSP said in a release that an autopsy was conducted Monday, though it did not share the results of that autopsy.

“The incident is still under investigation and more information will be shared as it becomes available,” MSP said.

One of Goble’s neighbors said he had two young sons.

Authorities were seeking Gobles in connection to a domestic violence case, but he took off. Driving a delivery truck, he led officers on a high-speed chase on M-66 north of Ionia, first heading north toward Montcalm County, then turning around and heading south.

Witnesses told 24 Hour News 8 Monday it appeared two other people — possibly children — were in the truck at the time. Police would not confirm that.

After MSP deployed two sets of Stop Sticks, the tires of Goble’s truck blew in the area of Tingley Road near M-66. He then walked nearly two miles south to Hubbell Road carrying a long gun, police say.

When Goble opened fire on officers in a field off Hubbell Road, they returned fire, authorities said. Goble sustained a gunshot wound and died at the scene.

Police on the scene in Orleans Township near where a man led officers on a chase and then opened fire on them. (May 4, 2014)
(Police on the scene in Orleans Township near where a man led officers on a chase and then opened fire on them. May 4, 2014)

“He was struggling on the ground,” area resident Leonard Guernsey continued. “Not a real nice thing to see.”

Guernsey said he watched the shootout through binoculars from his nearby property.

“My wife had a scanner on. We were listening to them at the same time. They had hollered, ‘Put the gun down. Put the gun down. Put your hands up.’ That’s when he fired at the police and police returned fire. It knocked him down,” Guernsey said. “Then it looked like he was struggling to get the gun back and they fired again.”

Ionia County authorities said Sunday it was not yet clear whether the suspect had been killed by officers or if his wound was self-inflicted.

Court records show Goble was no stranger to police, 24 Hour News 8 found. He previously had contact with them after disputes with a girlfriend and the mother of his children.

In one of those cases, police found no evidence of physical abuse. But one document related to that case was particularly troubling. In it, his girlfriend described Goble flying off the handle, threatening to shoot her and then go into the barn and “shoot it out with police.”

Goble’s neighbor of nearly 10 years, who asked not to be identified, said she got along well with him.

“As far as a neighbor goes, he was the greatest neighbor in the world,” she said. “He’d stop by and say, ‘You need anything,’ or anything like that. He was good guy.”

Despite that, she admitted Goble had “quick temper” and said she was aware of domestic violence in his home.

“He wasn’t a bad man. He just had some bad qualities I think that he couldn’t overcome,” she said.

But, she said, she never expected to see Goble’s vehicle on the news associated with a police chase and eventual shootout.

“I said, ‘Oh my God. It’s Steve. It’s got to be Steve,” she said.

MSP is handling the investigation into the incident, which involved several agencies in Ionia and Montcalm counties.

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