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Police: No ongoing threat after Ford Avenue incident

Details scarce after Thursday death, neighbors describe friendly couple

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz A bouquet of flowers sits outside a home where police responded to a report of gunshots on Thursday night. When police arrived, they discovered one person dead and another badly wounded. Police have not released the names of the individuals or other details about the event.

ALPENA — Details remained scarce tonight about exactly what happened before police responded to a report of shots fired on Alpena’s north side Thursday evening and discovered one person dead and another badly wounded.

Police released no details today beyond a brief written statement from Alpena Police Chief Joel Jett saying the incident was isolated and there’s no ongoing threat to the public. Police have not said, for example, whether the death or injury were caused by a gunshot.

Jett did not return phone calls requesting additional information this afternoon.

Neighbors, meanwhile, told The News the couple who lived at the home were kind and there’d been no signs of trouble there before Thursday.

Though condolence messages have been posted on social media for a man and a woman, police have not released any names and The News could not verify the identities of the people involved.

City property records say the house, which has two apartments, was sold in 2018 to a company called 801 Ford Ave LLC. State business records list Jillian Ferguson as the resident agent of that company. She could not be reached for comment today.

Law enforcement responded shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday to a call of shots fired at the corner of Clark Street and Ford Avenue. There, police found one deceased individual and another who was badly wounded. The injured person was transported to MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena and later airlifted out of town for more care.

The intersection was sealed off with yellow police tape and all traffic and pedestrians were kept away from the scene as police investigated. A neighbor said police were at the scene until about 5:30 a.m. today.

Margo Evans lives next door to the home where police responded. She said she didn’t hear the gunshots, but realized something was wrong when she saw red and blue lights flashing and saw the number of police at the house next door.

“They haven’t been living there that long,” Evans said. “They always walk by the house holding hands and walking their dog. I chatted with them a bit Saturday, and they seemed really nice.

Evans said that, during the time the couple had lived there, she had never seen or heard anything that caused her concern, and, to her knowledge, the police had never been called to the residence.

Vicky Passage, another neighbor, said she didn’t really know the two people, but, based on the few interactions she had with them, they seemed fine.

She also knew of no signs of domestic violence or police being at the house previously.

“He bought the house not too long ago and has been fixing it up,” Passage said. “He seemed like a good kid. He was clean-cut and a hard worker. It was always pretty quiet at the house. You could hear him using tools outside once in a while, but I never had any issues from them.”

If Thursday’s death is determined to be a homicide, it would be Northeast Michigan’s second homicide this year.

In August, a murder-suicide claimed the lives of brothers James Polluch and Michael Pollouch in Alpena Township. Michael Polluch, a former Alpena Municipal Council member, was killed by several gunshot wounds, and his brother died from a single self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. The two were found in the debris of a barn near U.S.-23 North after the barn burned.

The most recent murder in the city limits was in 2015. A jury found Christopher Tank guilty of the premeditated murder of Robert Arch after the two Alpena men argued at Arch’s home on Sable Street. Tank was sentenced to life in prison.

A murder-suicide followed by a fire also claimed the lives of Patrick Pokorski and his son, Ross Pokorski, in Alpena Township in 2017. Patrick Porkorski stabbed his son before starting a fire at a home on U.S.-23 North and dying from smoke inhalation, police said.

News Staff Writer Julie Riddle contributed to this report.

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