It was a drug-related killing, as these things often are.
In terms of risk, dealing drugs to blacks is pretty much the white male equivalent of coalburning.
A Ferndale man has been charged with open murder among other charges following a shooting incident over the weekend in Lapeer County.
It all unfolded sometime around 3 a.m. Sunday. That’s when Lapeer County sheriff’s deputies say residents at a home on Hollow Corners Road woke to the sound of around 15 to 20 gunshots.
They then noticed a man in their backyard that had been shot in the back, so they called 911.
Police say 29-year-old Nick Palazzolo was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated. But during that time, a deputy was on the way to the scene at the home and noticed some broken glass in the road.
“Finding this odd, started to look around and then indicated to dispatch that he had discovered the body of a male individual,” said Dryden Township Police Chief Shawn Peters.
Jason Stefanski, 35, of Rockford, Michigan, was found shot to death in a ditch. His body was discovered just down the road where Palazzolo was found with a gunshot wound.
“Deputy Rhodes went to leave the scene, and upon leaving there he’s looking in the roadway west of where the actual body was found, there were grooves in the roadway,” said Lapeer County Sheriff Scott McKenna.
That indicated to deputies someone had been driving on one rim. So Rhodes followed the tracks eventually up to Wilder road, where he spotted a burgundy SUV.
“Deputy Rhodes approaches the door and as he approaches the door, he observes a male that we later find to be Dukes, the suspect in this vehicle,” McKenna said.
That man, 37-year-old Lydell Dukes, had a gun in his lap at the time.
Rhodes called for back up and tried to get Dukes to come out of the car, but instead a police chase began.
Deputies eventually arrested Dukes a couple miles north of Lapeer off M-24.
Deputies believe the incident was drug related. Dukes is facing 10 charges, including open murder and assault with intent to murder.