Campground owner fatally shot by FBI agent after four-day standoff
VANDALIA, Mich. (AP) – A campground owner facing drug and weapons charges was fatally shot by an FBI agent Monday night after a four-day standoff, authorities said.
Grover T. Crosslin, 47, was shot and killed after he walked out of a building with a rifle and pointed it at the agent, Cass County Sheriff Joseph Underwood Jr. said in a news release Monday night. The FBI did not immediately return calls for comment.
Crosslin became agitated after authorities brought a phone to him in an attempt to begin negotiations, Underwood said. Crosslin asked to speak with a third party, and when authorities denied the request, he began making threatening remarks and gestures, the sheriff said.
Crosslin left the building with another man and began walking around outside the building with his weapon.
Crosslin ”approached an area where an FBI observer had been stationed, and upon seeing the FBI observer, Crosslin immediately raised the weapon to shoulder height and pointed it directly at the agent,” Underwood said.
The FBI agent shot Crosslin once, the sheriff said.
A judge had signed a warrant Monday charging Crosslin with attempted destruction of an aircraft and using a firearm in a felony, Clenney said.
Authorities alleged Crosslin, who owns the southwest Michigan campground called Rainbow Farm, shot a news helicopter from WNDU-TV in nearby South Bend, Ind., as it flew overhead Friday. Shots also were fired at an unmarked state police plane Saturday but missed, police said. Both aircraft landed safely without injuries.
The situation began Friday when deputies went to the farm after neighbors said Crosslin was burning buildings on his property, which is the target of civil forfeiture proceedings. It appears a house and four main buildings on the campground property have been burned since then, Underwood said.
Deputies said they believe Crosslin was upset about a bond revocation hearing scheduled for Friday. It was set because police believed he was violating the terms of his release on bond on previous drug and weapon charges. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest when he didn’t show up at the hearing.
Authorities arrested Crosslin and five others in May after a two-year investigation into allegations of marijuana use at the 34-acre campground, Underwood said.
Crosslin was charged with felony possession of a firearm, growing marijuana and maintaining a drug house.
A court order issued in June prohibited Crosslin from having festival gatherings at the farm, whose Web site says it ”supports the medical, spiritual and responsible recreational uses of marijuana for a more sane and compassionate America.” Police allege he violated the order by holding a festival August 17-18, which prompted the bond hearing.
About a mile away from the campground, about a half-dozen people displayed placards in support of Crosslin and Rainbow Farm.
Crosslin’s attorney, Dori Leo, said her client was upset because a child he helped raise has been taken from the home he shares with a friend.
The boy was placed in foster care about a month or two ago after Crosslin and the friend, Rolland Rohm, were charged with the drug counts, Leo told the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune.
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