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Cousin of Barry Co. standoff suspect speaks out
BARRY COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - For the first time we're hearing from family of a man shot and killed in a standoff with police last weekend in Barry County.
41-year-old Ralph Elliot's cousin talked with Newschannel 3 on the phone today, remembering him as someone always willing to help his family out.
The shooting happened at his mother's house in Baltimore Township.
State police tell us statements from the Barry Count Sheriff's deputies involved will be taken tomorrow. In the meantime the family has a lot of questions about what happened.
"Very upsetting because I have a lot of questions. We have no answers from them...where he was shot, where was the location he was shot at, because there was so much blood in several different areas," said his cousin Robert Hainer.
Here's what we do know. Barry County Sheriff's deputies responded around 7 p.m. Saturday to what they're calling a domestic situation between Elliot and his wife. State police tell us seven total shots were fired: two from Elliot before police arrived and five from the five sheriff's deputies on scene. A family friend tells us Elliot had a drinking problem, but he never thought it would come to this. Hainer says he often had a beer in hand but that it was all in fun.
"Some would say we like to drink a lot, but we're not violent people," he said.
We're also told police were called out to a barricaded gunman situation involving Elliot last year.