MCBAIN, MI – Dale Steven Dziesinski, 41-years-old of McBain, was allegedly sending threatening letters to the homes of health care workers in the Traverse City area and even said he would commit a mass shooting at Munson Medical Center.
The Michigan State Police (MSP) Emergency Support Team (EST) and troopers from the MSP Houghton Post attempted to arrest 41-year-old Dale Steven Dziesinski, from McBain, who had made death threats to health care professionals in the Traverse City area. The standoff ended after Dziesinski took his own life.
The investigation began on November 19th, 2020, when the MSP Cadillac Post was made aware of threatening letters sent to the homes of health care workers in the Traverse City area. The 32-page letter detailed why Dziesinski was upset with the care he had been receiving and was demanding action.
On November 29, 2020, Dziesinski sent an email to a health care professional stating if his demands were not met by midnight on December 5, 2020, he would seek out the healthcare workers and their families to kill them. The threats also included Dziesinski’s intent to commit a mass shooting at Munson Hospital. A felony arrest warrant for Using the Internet/Telecommunications to Commit Terrorism was authorized by the Missaukee County Prosecutor’s Office.
The MSP EST announced their presence at his apartment building located on Elm Street in McBain shortly after 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 6, 2020. The building was evacuated, and the surrounding residents were told to evacuate or shelter in place. Negotiators attempted to talk Dziesinski into surrendering, however he refused. He also made statements indicating he would not be taken alive and would take out as many police officers as he could.
During one attempt to approach the residence in an armored vehicle, the suspect began shooting. Several attempts were made to approach the residence and each time Dziesinski opened fire on troopers. Troopers returned fire as they attempted to breach the residence. Negotiations continued all day. At approximately 5:10 p.m. during an approach, Dziesinski took his own life by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The investigation continued well into the evening and early morning hours. An autopsy is scheduled to be performed today to determine the cause of death.
The MSP Aviation Unit, MSP Bomb Squad, MSP Canine Unit, and MSP Cadillac Post assisted the MSP Houghton Lake troopers and MSP EST at the scene.
The Missaukee County Prosecutor’s Office released the following statement on Friday Monday December 7th, 2020:
This past Friday afternoon, Missaukee County Prosecutor David Houten filed a complaint against Dale Dziesinski alleging acts of terrorism for threats made against Munson Health Care employees and their families. Those threats included threats of violence and “gruesome homicide” indicating that he was “thinking every day on how to kill them all, slowly” and threatening “mass shooting at their hospital” and that if they did not “fix my life” “by 11:59PM on December 5th, then starting on December 6th, they can consider me armed and dangerous and actively seeking a deadly confrontation with every employee and their family, extending to parents, siblings and offspring households, natural and in-laws”.
“Please know that even before I signed the complaint on Friday afternoon, strong efforts were made to seek a non-confrontational arrest outside of his residence. Those efforts continued throughout the approximately 11 hour standoff yesterday when Mr. Dziesinkski ultimately took his own life after initiating gunshots with officers and after several live round exchanges with officers.”
“I was at the scene yesterday and I appreciate the inconvenience that local residents suffered and the distress understandably caused by gunshots in their neighborhood when efforts at a peaceful resolution proved not to be possible. I also respect the comments expressing concern over the apparent mental condition of Mr. Dziesinkski. The Office of the Missaukee County Prosecutor will not allow threats of mass homicide of local area hospital workers and their family’s to go unanswered.”
It should also be noted that although the apartment complex suffered significant damage, no other residents were injured and nor were hospital employees.
“I was struck by the professionalism of law enforcement and the work they do every day to keep Missaukee county and other local communities safe.” said Prosecutor Houten.