An antigovernment extremist has reportedly been pushed over the edge into domestic violence with deadly consequences.
On June 30, 2018, at about 2:35 a.m., deputies assigned to the Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence in Camden, Michigan, for an alleged breaking and entering in progress. While en route to the residence, the emergency call was changed to “shots fired.”
Upon arrival, deputies found a white male, later identified as Eddie Coleman Heathcoe, lying unresponsive on the floor inside the residence. Heathcoe, age 23, of Grand Bay, Alabama, had been shot multiple times. He was pronounced dead by emergency services personnel at the scene.
Prior to the shooting, Joshua Miller had arrived unexpectedly at the residence and began arguing with his ex-wife. Heathcoe attempted to intervene and was shot by Joshua Miller. The shooter then fled the scene in a black Mazda 5.
Local authorities immediately issued a “Be on the Lookout” bulletin for Joshua Miller, who was characterized as “armed and dangerous” and “wanted for homicide.” The bulletin stated that Joshua Miller was likely armed with an AR-15 type assault rifle and that other firearms were missing from the residence. It also mentioned that Miller may be affiliated with a local militia/survivalist group based near Fort Wayne, Indiana, called the “Roughnecks.”
At 5:46 a.m., Hillsdale County Central Dispatch received another emergency call about a suspicious black SUV parked near Abbott Road. The caller stated he had also observed a white male unresponsive in the driver’s seat. The SUV was believed to have left the roadway, hit some trees, drove through the caller’s yard, and ended in an adjacent field. The vehicle crash site was located a short distance away from the murder scene.
Deputies discovered Joshua Miller unresponsive in the driver’s seat of the Mazda. He appeared to have died from a single gunshot wound to the head. Emergency personnel were called to the accident, but were unable to revive the subject. Joshua Miller was officially pronounced dead at 6:29 a.m.
Hatewatch has confirmed Joshua Miller’s affiliation with the III Percenter militia movement, via Miller’s Facebook postings. A photo posted by one of Joshua Miller’s close friends appears to show Miller and his friend posing with other members of the American Patriots III Percent Indiana militia group. Further, Miller may have participated in a smaller militia group in Michigan (e.g. the Roughnecks) comprised of himself and two friends, according to Miller’s Facebook photos.
“Getting the proper training and the know how to do something,” said Joshua Miller in a Facebook post explaining why he joined a local militia.
“Yes, I own an AR-15 and several other semi-automatic weapons, high-capacity magazines, a full set of tactical gear, and many other things,” said Miller. “Owning these things doesn’t make me a bad guy.”
Miller further elaborated on his gun ownership, “That’s part of how I save lives by having those tools. …That’s how I chase off the monsters and demons in this world,” he said. “That’s how I keep the things that normally go bump in the night quiet.
“Every time a mass shooting happens, my Facebook feed gets filled with posts about more strict gun laws,” Miller wrote. “Guns are just tools and will only ever do what I want them to do.”
Contrary to his social media statements, Joshua Miller did not “save lives” by possessing his firearms. He apparently murdered someone, then ended his own life using them. Although this act of murder/suicide didn’t directly involve Miller’s militia activities, it certainly provided the mindset and capability to kill. This incident is just the latest event in a string of extremist-related domestic violence attacks over the past year.