Shootouts Leave Michigan Deputy, Extremist Dead

'Patriot' Crimes

When accused Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph was finally nabbed after five years in the woods last May, the radical right no longer had its favorite fugitive to root for. But for a few days in July, it looked like an obscure antigovernment zealot from Michigan was going to fill the bill.

The latest saga began when police and sheriff's deputies in western Michigan tried to serve Scott Woodring, a former member of the Michigan Militia, with a warrant for soliciting sex from a teenage girl.

The 40-year-old Woodring, reportedly a devotee of the anti-Semitic Christian Identity theology, barricaded himself inside his home and warned the officers he had a gun — which he used on Day Two of the standoff, after officers fired tear gas and tried to storm the house. Woodring, who received 10% of the vote in a run for Dayton Township supervisor in 1996, fatally shot one Michigan state trooper and wounded another.

Police eventually responded by firing a concussion grenade into Woodring's house, igniting a fire that burned it to the ground. But when they sifted through the rubble, there was no sign of Woodring's remains. Somehow, he had managed to flee.

But if Woodring's comrades were cheering his escape act as they watched it unfold on Fox News, it didn't last long. Woodring's survival skills were ultimately no match for Rudolph's; four days after he slipped away, Woodring, found in an abandoned car not far down the road, was killed by police after allegedly starting a shootout.

No matter: Woodring's fellow "Patriots" wasted no time in turning his tale into a fable of governmental oppression and going into a rage. After Woodring killed the state trooper, Michigan Militia member George Matousek told the local Bay City Times, "There's going to be a lot more of that. They keep picking on us and playing games and it's going to cost them their lives."