MACKINAC COUNTY, MI – In the early afternoon hours of Saturday, June 12, 2021 troopers from the Michigan State Police (MSP) Gaylord Post and MSP St. Ignace Post responded to report of a minor crash and gunshot on the Mackinac Bridge that resulted in 65-year-old William Richard Pirkola from Ludington being arrested.
The incident allegedly began on eastbound US-2 when two vehicles were traveling to the bridge. The road rage appears to have begun due to lane usage. Pirkola stated the other driver would not let him merge. This happened again when approaching the toll booths on I-75. After going through the toll booth, the other vehicle, driven by a 63-year-old Williamsburg man, merged in front of him due to a lane closure. Pirkola struck the vehicle driven by the Williamsburg man. The Williamsburg man exited his vehicle to confront Pirkola who then pointed a handgun in the air and fired one shot. A .40 caliber handgun and a 9mm handgun were seized by troopers along with one spent .40 caliber cartridge recovered from the driver’s side seat.
Pirkola was lodged in the Mackinac County Jail. He was arraigned in this afternoon in the 92nd District Court in Mackinac County on one count Reckless Discharge of a Firearm, a misdemeanor. He was given a PR bond. His next scheduled court appearance is on July 13, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.