Updated: July 16, 2003
Fugitive Michigan Militia Member Dies in Shootout
Scott Allen Woodring, the Michigan Militia member who became the subject of an intense manhunt in western Michigan, died on the morning of July 13, 2003, after being shot by state police. Woodring had killed a Michigan State Police officer a week earlier during an armed standoff.
Authorities received a tip revealing Woodring's current location, in a car parked behind a house some four miles from his home in Newaygo County. A SWAT team was sent to the location, where they found Woodring asleep in the vehicle.
Police ordered Woodring to remain in the car, but he emerged carrying an assault rifle. When he turned to face the officers, they fired at him.
Updated: July 9, 2003
Michigan Militia Standoff Update
An all-points-bulletin was issued by the Michigan State Police on July 9, 2003, for Scott Alan Woodring, the Michigan militia member who allegedly shot and killed a Michigan State Trooper during an armed standoff in Fremont in western Michigan.
Authorities decided to force an end to the standoff on the afternoon of July 8, using armored vehicles on loan from the Michigan National Guard to approach Woodring's house so that percussion grenades could be launched into the building. Two grenades were detonated, shortly after which the building caught fire and was rocked by explosions.
Woodring was originally thought to have been in the building when it burned down. However, a search of the building's remains failed to turn up any evidence of Woodring. Michigan State Police now believe he may have left his home as early as Monday afternoon. A backpack filled with food and ammunition was found on July 8, three quarters of a mile from Woodring's home. Woodring's wife has reportedly identified it as belonging to her husband.
A warrant for Woodring's arrest has been issued on murder and firearms charges.
Posted: July 8, 2003
A Michigan Militia member killed a Michigan State Police trooper on July 7, 2003, in a standoff with authorities in Newaygo County in western Michigan. The trooper, Kevin Marshall, was an eight-year veteran of the Michigan State Police and part of the State Emergency Response Unit.
The standoff began July 6, when police officers from Hesperia, Michigan, and the Newaygo County Sheriff's Department attempted to serve Scott Woodring, a longtime Michigan Militia member, with a warrant for criminal sexual conduct. Woodring barricaded himself inside his home and refused to come out, warning officers that he had a gun.
Once a standoff developed, authorities attempted to negotiate with Woodring, described by his family as a "non-violent member" of the Michigan Militia who does not trust the government. However, on the second day, police tried to enter the home to apprehend Woodring, firing tear gas into the building, then entering.
Woodring shot at the officers, lightly wounding one man and hitting Marshall in his side, in an area unprotected by his bulletproof vest. Marshall was taken to a hospital and died during surgery.
Woodring is a longtime member of the Michigan Militia and an adherent of the anti-government sovereign citizen movement. A follower of Michigan Militia founder Norm Olson, Woodring ran for township supervisor in Dayton Township in 1995 on a platform modeled after the beliefs of the Montana Freemen, getting 10 percent of the primary vote.
The following year, Woodring tried to organize a "township" in Newaygo County, running newspaper ads to promote a "Committee for a De Jure Township." Members of the anti-government sovereign citizen movement often try to create their own "townships" to escape the jurisdiction of the government. The Montana Freemen created "Justus Township" during their standoff with federal authorities in 1996. In 1983, Posse Comitatus leader Gordon Kahl was leaving a meeting to create such a "township" when he killed two U.S. Marshals trying to apprehend him.
Also in 1996, Woodring was involved in Norm Olsen's attempt to create a national militia gathering he dubbed the "Third Continental Congress." Woodring was part of the Michigan Militia delegation to the event.