By Robert Tomlinson
CENTREVILLE — Two people were killed in a double homicide in Sturgis, which ended the next day with the suspect being killed by police.
According to the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department and Sturgis Public Safety, 38-year-old Stacy Mae Ramsey and 61-year-old Jerry Odell Longacre were killed in two separate incidents in the Sturgis area Saturday night, Aug. 5. The suspect in both homicides, 30-year-old David Algarin Jr., was killed by police in a shooting following a car chase Sunday morning, Aug. 6.
In a press conference at the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department Monday, Sturgis Director of Public Safety Ryan Banaszak said his department initially got a call at 10:43 p.m. Saturday to the area of South Centerville Road near South Street for a report of a shooting victim. Ramsey was identified as the victim in this incident, and was pronounced dead on the way to Bronson Hospital.
Witnesses reportedly told police that after shooting Ramsey, Algarin returned to the scene, hitting her with his vehicle before driving away.
Banaszak said community members helped identify Algarin as the suspect “within the first few hours,” eventually receiving information that led them to the Sweet Lake Mobile Home Park in the 31000 block of U.S. 12.
Algarin, Banaszak said, was reportedly at the mobile home park by the time police arrived Saturday night, but took off and escaped upon their arrival. While police searched a home at the park during a sweep of the area, Longacre’s body was found fatally shot.
At 11 a.m. Sunday, Banaszak said a license plate camera in Sturgis alerted officers to Algarin’s vehicle, a 1999 black Honda CR-V, passing through the area. An officer from Sturgis reportedly located the vehicle on U.S. 12, and a pursuit began shortly thereafter.
St. Joseph County Undersheriff Jason Bingaman said the chase went eastbound on U.S. 12 into Bronson, then north onto South Madison Lake Road to M-86. Bingaman said dispatchers were communicating with Algarin throughout the pursuit.
“Based on the information we had and the two homicide investigations that were conducted, it was clear he had homicidal and suicidal ideations,” Bingaman said.
Bingaman said the suspect headed west on M-86 back toward the Colon area, and Bingaman said a decision was made to use a PIT maneuver to get Algarin off the road before reaching Colon, where the village’s Magic Festival was being held.
The maneuver was successfully applied, Bingaman said, taking the vehicle off the road and into a wheat field a half-mile outside of St. Joseph County. It was there where Bingaman said the shooting occurred, and Algarin was killed.
Michigan State Police is currently handling the investigation into the shooting, per standard protocol.
A video from the lone police car in the chase with a camera was shown at Monday’s press conference, showing the final minute of the pursuit. Gunshots can be briefly heard in the video, with officers being shown having their guns drawn.
Neither Bingaman nor Banaszak answered questions about the incidents, due to the ongoing investigations. Banaszak said there is not a clear motive for the shootings at this time, as the case is still being investigated.
“While we do not have a clear motive for the murders at this time, detectives are working diligently to piece together what happened and why,” Banaszak said.
While police said a motive for the homicides had not been figured out as of yet, the suspect did have history with at least one of the victims, Ramsey.
According to Branch County court records obtained by the Commercial-News, Algarin was sentenced in October of 2021 on one count of domestic violence and one count of interfering with electronic communications. In 2020, court records stated, Ramsey, who was living with Algarin at the time, said he assaulted her by headbutting her in the abdomen multiple times. She sought medical attention and was eventually diagnosed with a ruptured spleen.
When Ramsey reportedly called 911 for assistance, according to court records, Algarin “became more angry,” taking Ramsey’s phone and throwing it, causing the phone to break in the process.
Algarin reportedly pled guilty and was sentenced to 60 days in jail on the domestic violence charge, with two years of probation. According to court records, Algarin was arraigned on violating probation on June 13, eventually pleading guilty.
Algarin’s overall criminal record dates back even further, to 2011, when he pleaded guilty to several charges including criminal sexual conduct in Allegan County.
Bingaman offered condolences to the families of those involved in the incidents.
“It’s just a sad situation all the way around, and it’s unfortunate. They are in our thoughts and prayers,” Bingaman said.
Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 or email@example.com.